"When we have met our Lord in the silent intimacy of our prayer, then we will also meet him...in the market, and in the town square. But when we have not met him in the center of our own hearts, we cannot expect to meet him in the busyness of our daily lives." (Henri Nouwen)
"If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
I came across these two quotes a number of pages apart in Cornelius Plantinga's book Engaging God's World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living. (Hat tip to the wonderful Hearts and Minds Booknotes for putting me onto this fine book. I can't seem to get hyperlinks working, but they're at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I'm still thinking through both quotes, and they're trying to spin/weave themselves into something that feels suspiciously like a poem but hasn't really become one yet.
The Solzhenitsyn quote feels particularly sobering on a day when we've learned that the number of U.S. deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan now equals the death toll from September 11.