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Barbara Brown Taylor

  • Jesus was not killed by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix.

    • Barbara Brown Taylor,
    • "The Perfect Mirror," The Christian Century ()
  • Beware those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware those who cannot tell God's will from their own.

    • Barbara Brown Taylor,
    • "The Perfect Mirror," The Christian Century ()
  • I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.

  • ... it is sometimes hard to tell whether you are being killed or saved by the hands that turn your life upside down.

  • ... our comfort or discomfort with the outer dark is a good barometer of how we feel about the inner kind.

  • ... those of us who wish to draw near to God should not be surprised when our vision goes cloudy, for this is a sign that we are approaching the opaque splendor of God. If we decide to keep going beyond the point where our eyes or minds are any help to us, we may finally arrive at the pinnacle of the spiritual journey toward God, which exists in complete and dazzling darkness.

  • Maybe that is the difference between pastoral counselors and spiritual directors. We go to counselors when we want help getting out of caves. We go to directors when we are ready to be led farther in.

  • Every human interaction offers you the chance to make things better or to make things worse.

  • Anyone can ... bless, whether anyone has authorized you to do it or not. All I am saying is that the world needs you to do this, because there is a real shortage of people willing to kneel wherever they are and recognize the holiness holding its sometimes bony, often tender, always life-giving hand above their heads. That we are able to bless one another at all is evidence that we have been blessed, whether we can remember when or not. That we are willing to bless one another is miracle enough to stagger the very stars.

  • As a general rule, I would say that human beings never behave more badly toward one another than when they believe they are protecting God.

  • I have learned to prize holy ignorance more highly than religious certainty and to seek companions who have arrived at the same place. We are a motley crew, distinguished not only by our inability to explain ourselves to those who are more certain of their beliefs than we are but in many cases by our distance from the centers of our faith communities as well.

Barbara Brown Taylor, U.S. priest, educator, theologian, writer

(1951)