(Notable Quotables is a meme brought to you by the Bewitched Bookworms. Every Monday you’re invited to share a favorite quote or two from the books you’ve been reading. Wanna join the fun? Clicking the image takes you to this week’s post.)
I’ve never been a big fan of religion. I was raised in a mostly secular home, although my grandparents and most of my extended family is Southern Baptist — Southern enough that there was no dancing at my parents’ wedding, but liberal enough that my grandparents danced together at my Sweet 16.
After graduating from college, I started attending a Methodist church with Best Friend and his family. But I just can’t get into organized religion. It always seems like there’s so much judging and hypocrisy going on.
But this isn’t the venue for my ruminations on religion. Although I have many quotes from the Bible in my Commonplace Book, these quotes are my favorites, and are the ones which I try to follow most closely.
The first two are from St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. He shares patronage of Italy with Catherine of Siena. I love St. Francis’ down to earth approach to faith, as well as his belief that what you do as a Christian is more important that what you know.
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”
And although I don’t think Methodist is exactly the right denomination for me, I appreciate founder John Wesley’s basic tenets:
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.”
I doubt that I’ll ever be the person who does a lot of Bible study, or spends a lot of time talking (or heaven forbid debating) with other people about religion. I think it’s a personal decision for everyone, and that I have no right to impede on others’ beliefs. These quotes are what inspire me to be a good person, irrespective of religion or denomination.
What inspires you to be a good person? Is religion helpful for you, or does it get in the way of your faith?