Madeleine L'Engle quotes

  • We do not draw people to Christ by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Believe #Heart #Light

  • We have to be braver than we think we can be, because God is constantly calling us to be more than we are.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Courage #Thinking #Bravery

  • But grief still has to be worked through. It is like walking through water. Sometimes there are little waves lapping about my feet. Sometimes there is an enormous breaker that knocks me down. Sometimes there is a sudden and fierce squall. But I know that many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Grief #Feet #Water

  • What I believe is so magnificent, so glorious, that it is beyond finite comprehension. To believe that the universe was created by a purposeful, benign Creator is one thing. To believe that this Creator took on human vesture, accepted death and mortality, was tempted, betrayed, broken, and all for love of us, defies reason. It is so wild that it terrifies some Christians who try to dogmatize their fear by lashing out at other Christians, because tidy Christianity with all answers given is easier than one which reaches out to the wild wonder of God's love, a love we don't even have to earn.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Christian #Believe #Broken

  • If you don't recount your family history, it will be lost. Honor your own stories and tell them too. The tales may not seem very important, but they are what binds families and makes each of us who we are.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Family #Honor #Important

  • The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Birthday #Success #Nursing

  • I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Faith #Prayer #Wings

  • When we believe in the impossible, it becomes possible, and we can do all kinds of extraordinary things.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Believe #Impossible #Kind

  • Because we fail to listen to each other's stories, we are becoming a fragmented human race.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Race #Listening #Stories

  • If we commit ourselves to one person for life, this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather, it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love #Relationship #Moving

  • Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Light #Evil #Darkness

  • The world has been abnormal for so long that we've forgotten what it's like to live in a peaceful and reasonable climate. If there is to be any peace or reason, we have to create it in our own hearts and homes.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Home #Heart #Long

  • Nothing, no one, is too small to matter. What you do is going to make a difference.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Differences #Making A Difference #Matter

  • In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there's no danger that we will confuse God's work with our own, or God's glory with our own.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Jobs #Real #Humility

  • If it can be verified, we don't need faith... Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Faith #Lying #Joy

  • Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Writing #World #Paint

  • If we are not willing to fail we will never accomplish anything. All creative acts involve the risk of failure.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Creative #Risk #Failing

  • A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Stars #Book #Reading

  • When I look at the galaxies on a clear night - when I look at the incredible brilliance of creation, and think that this is what God is like, then instead of feeling intimidated and diminished by it, I am enlarged . . . I rejoice that I am a part of it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Faith #Night #Thinking

  • Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Depression #Uplifting #Light

  • A long-term marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility, to friendship, to companionship. It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Moving #Passion #Long

  • To pray is to listen, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what God may have to say.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Prayer #Moving #May

  • God is over all things, under all things; outside all; within, but not enclosed; without, but not excluded; above, but not raised up; below; but not depressed; wholly above, presiding; wholly without, embracing; wholly within, filling.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Faith #Filling #Raised

  • When the artist is truly the servant of the work, the work is better than the artist; Shakespeare knew how to listen to his work, and so he often wrote better than he could write; Bach composed more deeply, more truly than he knew, Rembrandt's brush put more of the human spirit on canvas than Rembrandt could comprehend. When the work takes over, then the artist is enabled to get out of the way, not to interfere. When the work takes over, then the artist listens.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Writing #Artist #Way

  • Agape love is...profound concern for the well-being of another, without any desire to control that other, to be thanked by that other, or to enjoy the process.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love Is #Profound #Desire

  • My writing knows more than I know. What a writer must do is listen to her book. It might take you where you don’t expect to go. That’s what happens when you write stories. You listen and you say ‘a ha,’ and you write it down. A lot of it is not planned, not conscious; it happens while you’re doing it. You know more about it after you’re done.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Book #Writing #Stories

  • The concentration of a small child at play is analogous to the concentration of the artist of any discipline. In real play, which is real concentration, the child is not only outside time, he is outside himself.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Real #Artist

  • Truth is what is true, and it's not necessarily factual. Truth and fact are not the same thing. Truth does not contradict or deny facts, but it goes through and beyond facts. This is something that it is very difficult for some people to understand. Truth can be dangerous.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #People #Doe #Facts

  • Creativity comes from accepting that you're not safe, from being absolutely aware, and from letting go of control. It's a matter of seeing everything - even when you want to shut your eyes.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Letting Go #Creativity #Eye

  • The journey homewards. Coming home. That's what it's all about. The journey to the coming of the Kingdom. That's probably the chief difference between the Christian and the secular artist--the purpose of the work, be it story or music or painting, is to further the coming of the kingdom, to make us aware of our status as children of God, and to turn our feet toward home.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Christian #Children #Home

  • Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #God #Atheist #Believe

  • Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith. Faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Doe #Stories #Littles

  • I don't understand it any more than you do, but one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand things for them to be.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #I've Learned #Children Book #Childrens Book

  • Man has a viewpoint, but God has the view.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Men #Views #Viewpoints

  • ... nothing loved is ever lost or perished.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Lost

  • I like to take the time out to listen to the trees, much in the same way that I listen to a sea shell, holding my ear against the rough bark of the trunk, hearing the inner singing of the sap. It's a lovely sound, the beating of the heart of the tree.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Heart #Sea #Tree

  • I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, "This is what I believe. Finished." What I believe is alive ... and open to growth
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Motivational #Believe #Thinking

  • You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Life #Beautiful #Children

  • In art we are once again able to do all the things we have forgotten; we are able to walk on water; we speak to the angels who call us; we move, unfettered, among the stars.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Art #Stars #Moving

  • Rather than feeling lost and unimportant and meaningless, set against galaxies which go beyond the reach of the furthest telescopes, I feel that my life has meaning. Perhaps I should feel insignificant, but instead I feel a soaring in my heart that the God who could create all this — and out of nothing — can still count the hairs of my head.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Heart #Hair #Feelings

  • The earth will never be the same again Rock, water, tree, iron, share this greif As distant stars participate in the pain. A candle snuffed, a falling star or leaf, A dolphin death, O this particular loss A Heaven-mourned; for if no angel cried If this small one was tossed away as dross, The very galaxies would have lied. How shall we sing our love's song now In this strange land where all are born to die? Each tree and leaf and star show how The universe is part of this one cry, Every life is noted and is cherished, and nothing loved is ever lost or perished.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Song #Stars #Pain

  • I wish that we worried more about asking the right questions instead of being so hung up on finding answers.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Wish #Asking #Answers

  • Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Inspirational #Uplifting #Work

  • Remember the root word of humble and human is the same: humus: earth. We are dust. We are created; it is God who made us and not we ourselves. But we were made to be co-creators with our maker.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Humble #Dust #Roots

  • We can surely no longer pretend that our children are growing up into a peaceful, secure, and civilized world. We've come to the point where it's irresponsible to try to protect them from the irrational world they will have to live in when they grow up. The children themselves haven't yet isolated themselves by selfishness and indifference; they do not fall easily into the error of despair; they are considerably braver than most grownups. Our responsibility to them is not to pretend that if we don't look, evil will go away, but to give them weapons against it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Growing Up #Children #Fall

  • Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it's dead. But we're allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures. And that's how I learn, by falling flat on my face and picking myself up and starting all over again.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Mistake #Fall #Ants

  • Euripedes. Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Hopeless #Wrinkle In Time

  • We do not love each other without changing each other.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love Each Other

  • God promised to make you free. He never promised to make you independent.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Independent

  • Because you're not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Blind

  • When I have something to say that I think will be too difficult for adults, I write it in a book for children. Children are excited by new ideas; they have not yet closed the doors and windows of their imaginations. Provided the story is good... nothing is too difficult for children.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Book #Writing

  • I hope that I will never forget the salvific power of joyful laughter.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Laughter #Never Forget #Forget

  • There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Sacred #Messages #Secular

  • The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love Is #Growth #Valleys

  • what I must learn is to love with all of me, giving all of me, and yet remain whole in myself. Any other kind of love is too demanding of the other; it takes, rather than gives. To love so completely that you lose yourself in another person is not good. You are giving a weight, not the sense of lightness and light that loving someone should give.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love Is #Light #Giving

  • I cannot believe that God wants punishment to go on interminably any more than does a loving parent. The entire purpose of loving punishment is to teach, and it lasts only as long as is needed for the lesson. And the lesson is always love.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Believe #Punishment #Long

  • Our story is never written in isolation. We do not act in a one-man play. We can do nothing that does not affect other people, no matter how loudly we say, "It's my own business.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Men #Play #People

  • Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become Named. And Naming is one of the impulses behind all art; to give a name to the cosmos, we see despite all the chaos.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Art #Names #Giving

  • I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Writing #Humility #Artist

  • When I am grappling with ideas which are radical enough to upset grown-ups, then I am likely to put these ideas into a story which will be marketed for children, because children understand what their parents have rejected and forgotten.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Ideas #Parent

  • I think your mythology would call them fallen angels. War and hate are their business, and one of their chief weapons is un-Naming - making people not know who they are. If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn't need to hate. That's why we still need Namers, because there are places throughout the universe like your planet Earth. When everyone is really and truly Named, then the Echthroi will be vanquished.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Hate #War #Angel

  • We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes...
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Dream #Sweet #Home

  • Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Stars #Wind #Listening

  • The creative impulse can be killed, but it cannot be taught. What a teacher can do... in working with children, is to give the flame enough oxygen so that it can burn. As far as I'm concerned, this providing of oxygen is one of the noblest of all vocations.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Teacher #Children #Oxygen

  • I believe that consistently we need to look for good, and not for evil, that when we look for evil we call up evil, while heaven comes closer when we acknowledge it.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Believe #Evil #Heaven

  • Conversion for me was not a Damascus Road experience. I slowly moved into an intellectual acceptance of what my intuition had always known.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Acceptance #Intellectual #Intuition

  • That's the way things come clear. All of a sudden. And then you realize how obvious they've been all along.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Knowledge #Understanding #Way

  • Qui plussait, plus se tait. French, you know. The more a man knows, the less he talks.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Men #Plus #Knows

  • All will be redeemed in God's fullness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ . All the strayed and stolen sheep. All the little lost ones.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Lost Ones #Sheep #Grace

  • Time exists so that everything doesn't happen at once.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Time #White Collar #Timing And Life

  • The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Pain #Paradox #Unending

  • I believe that good questions are more important than answers, and the best children's books ask questions, and make the readers ask questions. And every new question is going to disturb someone's universe.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Believe #Book

  • If our language is watered down, then mankind becomes less human, and less free.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Language #Mankind #Humans

  • Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Writing #Form #Given

  • A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Self #Becoming

  • But unless we are creators, we are not fully alive.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Creativity #Alive #Creator

  • Truth is eternal. Knowledge is changeable. It is disastrous to confuse them.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Knowledge #Truth Is #Eternal

  • Stories are like children. They grow in their own way.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Stories #Way

  • As Emmanuel, Cardinal Suhard says, "To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #God #Mean #People

  • On the other side of pain, there is still love.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Love #Pain #Deep Thought

  • There are forces working in the world as never before in the history of mankind for standardization, for the regimentation of us all, or what I like to call making muffins of us, muffins all like every other muffin in the muffin tin. This is the limited universe, the drying dissipating universe that we can help our children to avoid by providing them with ‘explosive material capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly'.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Tin #World

  • Meg, when people don't know who they are, they are open either to being Xed, or Named
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #People #Meg #Knows

  • We can't take any credit for our talents. It's how we use them that counts.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Life #Attitude #Integrity

  • But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Art #Live Life #Creativity

  • To create a work of art, great or small, is work, hard work, and work requires discipline and order.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Art #Hard Work #Order

  • life is the greatest gift that could ever be conceived ... A daffodil pushing up through the dark earth to the spring, knowing somehow deep in its roots that spring and light and sunshine will come, has more courage and more knowledge of the value of life than any human being I've met.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Life #Spring #Sunshine

  • I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Good Marriage #Very Good #Suspects

  • Love isn't how you feel. It's what you do. I've never had a feeling in my life. As a matter of fact, I matter only with earth people.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #People #Feelings #Earth

  • When we look at a painting, or hear a symphony, or read a book, and feel more Named, then, for us, that work is a work of Christian art. But to look at a work of art and then to make a judgment as to whether or not it is art, and whether or not it is Christian, is presumptuous. It is something we cannot know in any conclusive way. We can know only if it speaks within our own hearts, and leads us to living more deeply with Christ in God.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Christian #Art #Book

  • I've got a sweater." Ben pulled off his coat and held it out for her. "Here." "Thanks, Ben. It's lovely and warm." Then she said, "Ben, I-- I can tell you how I feel about-- about everything. I think you're the best friend I've ever had. I-- I'd lie down and die for you if you wanted me to." "Honey," Ben said. "When I get you to lie down for me it won't be to die.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Lying #Thinking #Sweaters

  • A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Distance #Science #Two

  • Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe - these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Stars #Taken #Sunset

  • No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again - till next time.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Wedding #Hurt #Long

  • Everything we do, our entire interior monologue, is prayer.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Prayer #Monologues #Interiors

  • Plato spoke of the necessity for divine madness in the poet. It is a frightening thing to open oneself to this strange and dark side of the divine; it means letting go our sane self control, that control which gives us the illusion of safety. But safety is only an illusion, and letting it go is part of listening to the silence, and to the spirit.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Letting Go #Plato #Mean

  • A mystic is a person who sees the facts as inadequate.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Facts #Mystic #Persons

  • At Tara in this fateful hour, I place all Heaven with its power, And the sun with its brightness, And the snow with its whiteness, And the fire with all the strength it hath, And the lightning with its rapid wrath, And the winds with their swiftness along their path, And the sea with its deepness, And the rocks with their steepness, And the earth with its starkness: All these I place, By God's almighty help and grace Between myself and the powers of darkness!
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Fire #Wrath #Rocks

  • How do we teach a child our own, or those in a classroom to have compassion: to allow people to be different; to understand that like is not equal; to experiment; to laugh; to love; to accept the fact that the most important questions a human being can ask do not have or need answers.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Children #Compassion #People

  • There are times when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause, but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Easter #Answers #Causes

  • Man is; it matters to him; this is terrifying unless it matters to God, too, because this is the only possible reason we can matter to ourselves.
    -- Madeleine L'Engle

    #Men #Matter #Reason