(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?
2 thoughts on “Notable Quotables: Faith, Not Religion”
I just chose St. Francis as my adult “patronus”, and I see that your favorite quotes from him echo the words of Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn in Peace Is Every Step… Coincidence? I think not. Perhaps the enlightened humans of every faith share such common principles of ‘right action’.
I’m impressed with your productivity too: You seem well on your way to your goal!
I’m definitely going to subscribe to your feed because your thinking sparks mine.
Thanks for stopping by and subscribing, Laurie! 😀 I’ve read a book by Thich Nhat Hahn, but it’s been several years now, and I can’t remember the title. It’ll probably come to me in the middle of the night, which is usually how it works.
I’ve always liked Buddhism, ever since I did a report on it in 8th grade. It’s not its own specific religion, but rather a grouping of beliefs and practices that can be incorporated into nearly any denomination. To me, Buddhism always seemed to be a much calmer way of existing: you’re not living an amoral life, but at the same time you’re not foisting the “right” religion onto others. Live and let live, I guess.
I agree with you about the idea of “right action” being a fairly universal concept. I think that to a certain extent, humans know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Sometimes we make wrong choices, but overall most people endeavor to live what they believe to be a good life.
The discussions around here have gotten a little deeper recently — first religion and then feminism in stories. I’m afraid it’s not always as intelligent. 😉 Sometimes it’s just plain insanity, and I’m sorry to say that I probably read more fluff than deep, meaningful texts.
But I know a good opportunity when I see it. Hopefully this will give me the kick in the pants I need to start reading more than just fluff (although I do love it…).