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Brennan Manning

writer, American Roman Catholic priest and United States Marine

QuotesEdit

1980sEdit

1990sEdit

  • The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

The Ragamuffin Gospel (1990)Edit

The Ragamuffin Gospel (1990)
  • Our huffing and puffing to impress God, our scrambling for brownie points, our thrashing about trying to fix ourselves while hiding our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat denial of the gospel of grace. Our approach to the Christian life is as absurd as the enthusiastic young man who had just received his plumber’s license and was taken to see Niagara Falls. He studied it for a minute and then said, "I think I can fix this."
  • God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.
  • When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.
  • To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.
  • My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.
  • Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of KNOWING Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited.
  • The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become – the more we realize that everything in life is a gift. The tenor of our lives becomes one of humble and joyful thanksgiving. Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son.
  • The noonday devil of the Christian life is the temptation to lose the inner self while preserving the shell of edifying behavior. Suddenly I discover that I am ministering to AIDS victims to enhance my resume. I find I renounced ice cream for Lent to lose five excess pounds… I have fallen victim to what T.S. Eliot calls the greatest sin: to do the right thing for the wrong reason.
  • Jesus was victorious not because he never flinched, talked back, or questioned, but having flinched, talked back, and questioned, he remained faithful.
  • What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county. Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.
  • Faithfulness requires the courage to risk everything on Jesus, the willingness to keep growing, and the readiness to risk failure throughout our lives.
  • I have been seized by the power of a great affection.

Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging (1994)Edit

Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging (1994), NavPress
  • Whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my response to life
    • p. 53
  • The Christ within who is our hope of glory is not a matter of theological debate or philosophical speculation. He is not a hobby, a part-time project, a good theme for a book, or a last resort when all human effort fails. He is our life, the most real fact about us. He is the power and wisdom of God dwelling within us.
    • p. 130

2000sEdit

  • To affirm a person is to see the good in them that they cannot see in themselves and to repeat it in spite of appearances to the contrary. Please, this is not some Pollyanna optimism that is blind to the reality of evil, but rather like a fine radar system that is tuned in to the true, the good, and the beautiful.

The Wisdom of Tenderness: What happens when God's firece mercy transforms our lives (2002)Edit

The Wisdom of Tenderness: What happens when God's firece mercy transforms our lives (2002), California: HarperSanFrancisco
  • None of us has ever seen a motive. Therefore, we don’t know we can’t do anything more than suspect what inspires the action of another. For this good and valid reason, we’re told not to judge.
    • p. 69
  • The tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become.
    • p. 71

2010sEdit

  • My message, unchanged for more than fifty years, is this: God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. It is the message of grace... A grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the grinning drunk who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal reeking of sin and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands, or buts... This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us... Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough... Jesus is enough.

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