278 Powerful Frederick Buechner Quotes To Start Your Spiritual Journey

Last Updated on August 16, 2023

Frederick Buechner is a writer and theologian who has had a profound impact on many people’s lives through his insightful and thought-provoking words. Frederick Buechner Quotes are inspirational and life-changing.

His works span a wide range of genres, including memoir, fiction, and theology, and his writing is known for its clarity, depth, and honesty.

What sets Buechner apart from other writers is his ability to express complex spiritual ideas in a way that is accessible and relatable to readers of all backgrounds. 

His books have inspired countless people to reflect on their own spiritual journeys and to seek a deeper connection with God.

One of the most enduring legacies of Buechner’s work is his collection of famous quotes. 

These quotes are pithy, memorable, and often contain a nugget of wisdom that can be applied to many different aspects of life. 

Whether you’re struggling with a difficult decision, feeling lost or confused, or simply in need of some inspiration, there’s a Frederick Buechner quote that can help.

Some of Buechner’s most famous quotes include “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is,” and “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

Each of these quotes contains a profound truth that speaks to the human condition. 

They remind us to pay attention to our own lives, to be open to new possibilities, and to have faith in the face of adversity.

In a world that can often feel chaotic and overwhelming, Buechner’s words offer a sense of comfort and guidance. 

They remind us that we are not alone in our struggles, and that there is meaning and purpose to be found in even the darkest of moments.

Whether you’re a longtime fan of Buechner’s work or are just discovering his writings for the first time, his famous quotes are sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind.

Little Known Priceless Scandalous Quotes

1. “People are disturbed not by things but by the view they take of them.”

2. “We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old.”

3. “A God in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

4. “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

5. “The grace of God means something like: Here is your life.”

6. “What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continually engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought.”

7. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’ is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough.”

8. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

9. “Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you.”

10. “Lord, catch me off guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain so that at least for the moment, I may be startled into seeing that you are here in all your splendor, always and everywhere, barely hidden, beneath, beyond, within this life I breathe.”

11. “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

12. “You can never be sure whether you are discovering the truth or inventing it.”

13. “Beneath our clothes, our reputations, our pretensions, beneath our religion or lack of it, we are all vulnerable both to the storm without and the storm within.”

14. “The Jesus I follow is the peacemaker, is one who says forgive your enemies, who worries about the poor, who worries about the poorest of the poor instead of the richest of the rich.”

15. “Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.”

16. “Remember me not for the ill I’ve done but for the good I’ve dreamed.”

17. “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

18. “Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would be no room for me.”

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19. “Sin and grace, absence and presence, tragedy and comedy, they divide the world between them and where they meet head on, the Gospel happens.”

20. “For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.”

21. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’ is the best any of us can do really, but thank God it is enough”

22. “Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless.”

23. “In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief.”

24. “My assumption is that the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.”

25. “the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all”

26. “If you want to be holy, be kind.”

27. “Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.”

"Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing."

28. “True faith, a simple life, a helping hand- the three things prized most in Heaven.”

29. “Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and for them and they are doing God’s will.”

30. “Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness.”

31. “Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.”

32. “Not to love is, psychically, spiritually, to die.”

33. “Grace is something you can never get but can only be given.”

34. “The world needs people who save lives.”

35. “Snobs are people who look down on other people, but that does not justify our looking down on them. Who can say what dark fears of being inferior lurk behind their superior airs or what they suffer in private for the slights they dish out in public?”

36. “The birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.”

37. “It is not the objective proof of God’s existence that we want but the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.”

38. “If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.”

39. “Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch. Faith is waiting.”

40. “It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle.”

41. “Go where your best prayers take you.”

42. “Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.”

43. “If you have never known the power of God’s love, then maybe it is because you have never asked to know it – I mean really asked, expecting an answer.”

44. “To remember the past is to see that we are here today by grace, that we have survived as a gift.”

45. “Five friends I had and two of them snakes.”

46. “The sacred moments, the moments of miracle, are often the everyday moments.”

Frederick Buechner Quotes about Apprenticeship To Jesus Quotes  

47. “Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.”

48. “The Jesus who is the one whom we search for even when we do not know that we are searching and hide from even when we do not know that we are hiding.”

49. “The best moments any of us have as human beings are those moments when for a little while it is possible to escape the squirrel-cage of being me into the landscape of being us.”

50. “If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

51. “To be bored is to turn a cold shoulder to engage all that God is and has for you in the moment.”

52. “She was right that reality can be harsh and that you shut your eyes to it only at your own peril because if you do not face up to the enemy in all his dark power, then the enemy will come up from behind some dark day and destroy you while you are facing the other way.”

53. “Our stories are all stories of searching. We search for a good self to be and for good work to do. We search to become human in a world that tempts us always to be less than human or looks to us to be more. We search to love and to be loved. And in a world where it is often hard to believe in much of anything, we search to believe in something holy and beautiful and life-transcending that will give meaning and purpose to the lives we live.”

54. “I could, of course, have done no more if no less than affiliated myself in one way or another with a particular church, could have simply read books about Christianity, talked to Christian people, set out to discover something about what a Christian life is supposed to involve and then tried as best I could to live one. But, on the one hand, that didn’t seem enough to me, and on the other, it seemed to much.”

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55. “To confess your sins to God is not to tell him anything he doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.”

56. “What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continually engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought.”

57. “In the Christian sense, love is not primarily an emotion but an act of the will. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, he is not telling us to love them in the sense of responding to them with a cozy emotional feeling. You can as well produce a cozy emotional feeling as you can a cough or sneeze. On the contrary, he is telling us to love our neighbors in the sense of being willing to work for their well-being even if it means sacrificing our well-being to that end.”

58. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

59. “At least to look back over their own lives, as I have looked back over mine, for certain themes and patterns and signals that are so easy to miss when you’re caught up in the process of living them. If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think he speaks to us largely through what happens to us, so listen to what has happened to you—for the sound, above all else, of his voice.”

60. “Prayer—prayer not as speaking to God, which in a scattered way I do many times a day because I cannot help doing it, but prayer as being deeply silent, as watching and listening for God to speak.”

61. “We are in constant danger of being not actors in the drama of our lives but reactors, to go where the world takes us, to drift with whatever current happens to be running the strongest.”

62. “In the last analysis, I have always believed, it is not so much their subjects that the great teachers teach as it is themselves.”

63. “The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

64. “To do for yourself the best that you have it in you to do—to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst—is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed.”

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65. “Repent and believe in the gospel, Jesus says. Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen, and come, Lord Jesus.”

66. “The sacred moments, the moments of miracle, are often the everyday moments.”

67. “Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.”

68. “He comes to us in such a way that we can always turn him down…God comes to us in the hungry man we do not have to feed, comes to us in the lonely man we do not have to comfort, comes to us in all the desperate human need of people everywhere that we are always free to turn our backs upon.”

69. “And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?”

70. “The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.”

Love Quotes To Know

71. “That’s five friends, one each for Jesu’s wounds, and Godric bears their mark still on what’s left of him as in their time they all bore his on them. What’s friendship, when all’s done, but the giving and taking of wounds?”

72. “There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.”

73. “Sin and grace, absence and presence, tragedy and comedy, they divide the world between them and where they meet head on, the Gospel happens.”

74. “If we are a people who pray, darkness is apt to be a lot of what our prayers are about. If we are people who do not pray, it is apt to be darkness in one form or another that has stopped our mouths.”

75. “One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

76. “The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

77. “It is within the bonds of marriage that I, for one, found a greater freedom to be and to become and to share myself than I can imagine ever having found in any other kind of relationship.”

78. “Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold which is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent.”

79. “To remember the past is to see that we are here today by grace, that we have survived as a gift.”

“To remember the past is to see that we are here today by grace, that we have survived as a gift.”

80. “Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn’t require much of anything at all.”

81. “Think of these pages as graffiti maybe, and where I have scratched up in a public place my longings and loves, my grievances and indecencies, be reminded in private of your own. In that way, at least, we can hold a kind of converse.”

82. “Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.”

83. “Once we have seen Him in a stable, we can never be sure where He will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation He will descend in His wild pursuit of men.”

84. “What keeps the wild hope of Christmas alive year after year in a world notorious for dashing all hopes is the haunting dream that the child who was born that day may yet be born again even in us.”

85. “… the world can give you these glimpses as well as fairy tales can–the smell of rain, the dazzle of sun on white clapboard with the shadows of ferns and wash on the line, the wildness of a winter storm when in the house the flame of a candle doesn’t even flicker.”

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86. “Love yourself not in some egocentric, self-serving sense but love yourself the way you would love your friend in the sense of taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself, trying to understand, comfort, and strengthen yourself.”

87. “Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you because it is through what happens to you that God speaks . . . It’s in language that’s not always easy to decipher, but it’s there, powerfully, memorably, unforgettably.”

88. “The fatted calf, the best Scotch, the hoedown could all have been his too, any time he asked for them except that he never thought to ask for them because he was too busy trying cheerlessly and religiously to earn them.”

89. “Here and there even in our world, and now and then, even in ourselves, we catch glimpses of a New Creation, which, fleeting as those glimpses are apt to be, give us hope both for this life and for whatever life may await us later on.”

90. “He also said we should carve in the year and place where I was born, but I said no. As a man dies many times before he’s dead, so does he wend from birth to birth until, by grace, he comes alive at last.”

91. “The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”

92. “It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence.”

93. “Our father. We have killed him, and we will kill him again, and our world will kill him. And yet he is there. It is he who listens at the door. It is he who is coming. It is our father who is about to be born. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

94. “Every person has one particular time in his life when he is more beautiful than he is ever going to be again. For some it is at seven, for others at seventeen or seventy, and as Laura Fleischman read out loud from Shakespeare, I remember thinking that for her it was probably just then.”

95. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom,’ the good thief said from his cross. (Luke 23:42). There are perhaps no more human words in all of Scripture, no prayer we can pray so well.”

96. “What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.”

97. “The past is the place we view the present from as much as the other way around.”

98. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s hunger meet.”

99. “There is always the poet, the lunatic, the lover; there is always the religious man who is a queer mixture of the three.”

100 “Jesus didn’t come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.”

101 “He [Jesus] speaks in parables, and though we have approached these parables reverentially all these many years and have heard them expounded as grave and reverent vehicles of holy truth, I suspect that many if not all of them were originally not grave at all but were antic, comic, often more than just a little shocking.”

Motivational Quotes

102. “It’s not as if I knew answers which I am going to set down in the form of a novel or a memoir or a sermon. It’s, rather, I’m going to search myself for what I might have to say in this area.”

103. “In New England, especially, [faith] is like sex. It’s very personal. You don’t bring it out and talk about it.”

104. “God in his unending greatness and glory and man in his unending littleness, prepared for the worst but rarely for the best, prepared for the possible but rarely for the impossible.”

105. “The Jesus who is the one whom we search for even when we do not know that we are searching and hide from even when we do not know that we are hiding.”

106. “Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise; and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of, a blessedness that is no more, or the dream of a blessedness that may someday be again.”

107. “If you talk about sin, you don’t have to use the first person singular, but speak out of that part of yourself which knows what it means to become estranged from people you love. Speak in your own voice about things that you in your own life have in one way or another experienced.”

108. “The preaching is part of the reason I don’t go to church. Plus, I don’t know, it was never part of my tradition.”

"The preaching is part of the reason I don't go to church. Plus, I don't know, it was never part of my tradition."

109. “There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”

110. “Like a house in the rain, books were havens of permanence and protection from whatever it was that as a child I needed protection from.”

111. “I’m a hopeless prayer. I think somewhere in there I spend a great deal of time at it.”

112. “To believe in Christ is to give your heart to Christ, which means not to affirm things about Christ, but it’s like what you mean when you say, “I believe in my friend.””

113. “Pray anyway. Who knows what God can do through your prayer?”

114. “All other days have either disappeared into darkness and oblivion or not yet emerged from it. Today is the only day there is.”

115. “That’s five friends, one each for Jesu’s wounds, and Godric bears their mark still on what’s left of him as in their time they all bore his on them. What’s friendship, when all’s done, but the giving and taking of wounds?”

116. “Laugh till you weep. Weep till there’s nothing left but to laugh at your weeping. In the end it’s all one.”

117. “A Christian isn’t necessarily any nicer than anybody else, just better informed.”

118. “To be bored to death is a form of suicide.”

119. “Becoming a Christian was terribly helpful to me. I can’t imagine finding my way without it. I think it can be very crucially important to ally yourself with some religion.”

120. “Envy is the consuming desire to have everybody else as unsuccessful as you are.”

121. “If you want to talk about grace, if you want to talk about revelation, talk about your life with some depth, which doesn’t mean lurid revelations as much as simply looking at your own deep experiences and describing them as they are.”

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122. “Gail Godwin has written a book about the heaviest matters of loss, grief, and loneliness with a touch so light that I was as often deeply amused by it as I was deeply moved.”

123. “It’s less the words they say than those they leave unsaid that split old friends apart.”

124. “No words come easily to my lips. I think ultimately – what I like to think is that I’m in some sense hearing the mystery itself.”

125. “It’s very easy in a way, horrible in some ways, but simply to give up the whole thing, to say, “Well, the hell with it, as far as I’m concerned life is pointless and [so] live the fullest, most successfully self-fulfilling life you can and let the rest go hang” – I’ve never reached that point in my life.”

126. “What makes you, in the deepest sense of the word, happy? That’s what you should be doing, if the other part is also met – if it is something the world needs.”

127. “Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.”

128. “If preachers decide to preach about hope, let them preach out of what they themselves hope for.”

"If preachers decide to preach about hope, let them preach out of what they themselves hope for."

129. “You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.”

130. “I believe with the best of who I am in God, but I sometimes think if anybody would watch me and [they] didn’t believe a damn thing, they would have a very hard time deciding which of us is which.”

131. “Where your deep gladness meets with the deep hunger of the world, there you will find a further calling.”

132. “I don’t know how to save my own life, so anything they’ve found in what I’ve written that saved theirs – I can’t take responsibility for it.”

133. “A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”

134. “If you are going to proclaim the Christian faith, speak about those dimensions of it which you[‘ve] had some experience with.”

135. “Prayers out of, very often, not the most religious part of me, but the most anxious part of me, the most desperately loving, fearing part of me.”

136. “Theology, like fiction, is largely autobiographical.”

137. “Vocation is the place where the world’s greatest need and a person’s greatest joy meet.”

138. “Your vocation lies in the intersection of the world’s deep need and your deep joy.”

139. “Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me.”

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140. “Despair has been called the unforgivable sin-not presumably because God refuses to forgive it, but because it despairs of the possibility of being forgiven.”

 Inspiring Quotes To Know

141. “The more you give, the more you are.”

142. “Thus, when you wake up in the morning, called by God to be a self again, if you want to know who you are, watch your feet. Because where your feet take you, that is who you are.”

143. “The power of stories is that they are telling us that life adds us somehow, that life itself is like a story.”

144. “One life on this earth is all that we get. Whether it is enough or not enough. And the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

145. “You do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

146. “Go where your best prayers take you.”

147. “Beneath our clothes, our reputations, our pretentions, beneath our religion or lack of it, we are all vulnerable both to the storm without and to the storm within.”

148. “The trouble with really seeing and really hearing is that then we really have to do something about what we have seen and heard.”

149. “What’s lost is nothing to what’s found, and all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup.”

150. “Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death.”

151. “Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing to guide us but a hand just beyond our grasp.”

152. “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.”

153. “If there is anything in this world I believe, it is that God is indeed doing all kinds of things in the lives of all of us.”

154. “Lust is the craving of salt of a man who is dying of thirst.”

"The preaching is part of the reason I don't go to church. Plus, I don't know, it was never part of my tradition."

155. “If it seems a childish thing to do, do it in remembrance that you are a child.”

156. “Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other. God is with them.”

157. “Be kind.

158. “Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.”

159. “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.”

160. “To find our calling is to find the intersection between our own deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger.”

161. “Doubts are the ants in the pants in faith. They keep it awake and moving.”

162. “You are loved.”

163. “A miracle is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”

164. “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

165. “Justice is the grammar of things. Mercy is the poetry of things.”

166. “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

167. “Everybody prays whether you think of it as praying or not. The odd silence you fall into when something very beautiful is happening or something very good or very bad.”

168. “Maybe the truth of it is that it’s too good not to be true.”

169. “Listen. Your life is happening. You are happening. Think back on your journey.”

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170. “We must be careful with our lives, for Christ’s sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously.”

171. “I find I need to put things into words before I can believe that they are entirely real.”

172. “Faith is not being sure where you’re going but going anyway.”

173.“The pride that keeps us from forgiving is the same pride which keeps us from accepting forgiveness.”

174. “To be wise is to be eternally curious.”

Beyond Word Quotes

175.”The decisive war is the other one – to become fully human, which means to become compassionate, honest, brave. And this is a war against the darkness which no man fights alone.”

176. “A Christian isn’t necessarily any nicer than anybody else, just better informed.”

177. “So generally – and this is not a complicated point, God knows – the arts frame our life for us so that we will experience it. Pay attention to it.”

178. “The trouble with really seeing and really hearing is that then we really have to do something about what we have seen and heard.”

179. “The sadness was I’d lost a father I had never fully found. It’s like a tune that ends before you’ve heard it out. Your whole life through you search to catch the strain, and seek the face you’ve lost in strangers’ faces.”

180. “Nothing human’s not a broth of false and true.”

181. “Faith in God is less apt to proceed from miracles than miracles from faith in God.”

"Faith in God is less apt to proceed from miracles than miracles from faith in God."

182. “This is what I think, in essence, prayer is. It is the breaking of silence. It is the need to be known and the need to know. Prayer is the sound made by our deepest aloneness.”

183. “He also said we should carve in the year and place where I was born, but I said no. As a man dies many times before he’s dead, so does he wend from birth to birth until, by grace, he comes alive at last.”

184. “Grace is something you can never get but only be given.”

185. “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.”

186. “O thou who art the sparrow’s friend,” he said, “have mercy on this world that knows not even when it sins. O holy dove, descend and roost on Godric here so that a heart may hatch in him at last. Amen.”

187. “In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.”

188. “If it please you, the lady’s name again?” says Reginald. His quill is poised. If God had come to Reginald and not to Moses in the burning bush, he would have asked him how to spell the great I AM so he’d be sure he had it right.”

189. “Words spoken in deep love or deep hate set things in motion in the human heart that can never be reversed.”

190. “To be bored is to turn a cold shoulder to engage all that God is and has for you in the moment.”

191. “To love your neighbor is to see your neighbor. To see somebody, really to see somebody, you have to love somebody.”

192. “The faces we lose track of most easily are the faces of the people who are closest to us, the people we love the most whose faces we see so often that we can’t really see them anymore.”

193. “In winter when the snow and ice were fierce, we shook beneath our different roofs alone, and that’s what Hell is like, I think. It’s cold and shame and shaking. And worst of all, it’s loneliness.”

194. “You do not need to understand healing to be healed or know anything about blessing to be blessed.”

195. “What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continually engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought.”

196. “Christ never promises peace in the sense of no more struggle and suffering. Instead, he helps us to struggle and suffer as he did, in love for one another.”

197. “It seems to me almost before the Bible says anything else, it is saying that – how important it is to be alive and to pay attention to being alive, pay attention to each other, pay attention to God as he moves and as he speaks. Pay attention to where life or God has tried to take you.”

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198. “Lying to God is like sawing the branch you’re sitting on. The better you do it, the harder you fall.”

199. “At the evening of our day, we shall be judged by our loving.”

200. “The world speaks of holy things in the only language it knows, which is worldly language.”

201. “Toleration is often just indifference in disguise.”

202. “Don’t look down on them for looking down on us. Look at them, instead, as friends we don’t know yet and who don’t yet know what they are missing in not knowing us.”

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203. “Pay attention to the things that bring a tear to your eye or a lump in your throat because they are signs that the holy is drawing near.”

204. “Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and for them and they are doing God’s will.”

205. “Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes.”

206. “Whatever you do with your life-whatever you end up achieving or not achieving-the great gift you have in you to give to the world is the gift of who you alone are; your way of seeing things, and saying things, and feeling about things, that is like nobody else’s. If so much as a single one of you were missing, there would be an empty place at the great feast of life that nobody else in all creation could fill.”

207. “The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.”

208. “Jesus didn’t come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.”

“Jesus didn’t come to merely speak words that were true, He is the Word that makes us true.”

209. “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

210. “One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

211. “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

212. “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

213. “Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you… Remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business… Even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s Business. Leave it to God.”

214. “When someone we love suffers, we suffer with that person, and we would not have it otherwise, because the suffering and the love are one, just as it is with God’s love for us.”

215. “Grace is something you can never get but only be given.”

216. “Lord, catch me off guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain so that at least for the moment, I may be startled into seeing that you are here in all your splendor, always and everywhere, barely hidden, beneath, beyond, within this life I breathe.”

217. “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”

218. “When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”

219. “Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.”

220. “We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old.”

221. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

222. “A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, ‘I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about his eyes and his voice. There’s something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross-the way he carries me.’”

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223. “Jesus is apt to come, into the very midst of life at its most real and inescapable moments. Not in a blaze of unearthly light, not in the midst of a sermon, not in the throes of some kind of religious daydream, but…at supper time, or walking along a road…He never approached from on high, but always in the midst, in the midst of people, in the midst of real life and the questions that real life asks.”

224. “Words spoken in deep love or deep hate set things in motion in the human heart that can never be reversed.”

225. “The world says, The more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are.”

226. “Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway.”

227. “For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.”

228. “If you want to be holy, be kind.”

229. “True faith, a simple life, a helping hand- the three things prized most in Heaven.”

230. “To confess your sins to God is not to tell [God] anything [God] doesn’t already know. Until you confess them, however, they are the abyss between you. When you confess them, they become the bridge.”

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231. “Listen to your life. All moments are key moments.”

232. “The world says, The more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are.”

"The world says, The more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are."

233. “To be wise is to be eternally curious.”

234. “Our father. We have killed him, and we will kill him again, and our world will kill him. And yet he is there. It is he who listens at the door. It is he who is coming. It is our father who is about to be born. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

235. “Remember Jesus of Nazareth, staggering on broken feet out of the tomb toward the Resurrection, bearing on his body the proud insignia of the defeat which is victory, the magnificent defeat of the human soul at the hands of God.”

236. “Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn’t require much of anything at all.”

237. “Justice is the grammar of things. Mercy is the poetry of things.”

238. “I believe with the best of who I am in God, but I sometimes think if anybody would watch me and [they] didn’t believe a damn thing, they would have a very hard time deciding which of us is which.”

239. “Becoming a Christian was terribly helpful to me. I can’t imagine finding my way without it. I think it can be very crucially important to ally yourself with some religion.”

240. “The magic of words is that they have power to do more than convey meaning; not only do they have the power to make things clear, they make things happen.”

241. “Remember me not for the ill I’ve done but for the good I’ve dreamed.”

242. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

243. “If our pain doesn’t destroy us, it just might transform us into truly human beings at last.”

244. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

245. “A Christian is one who points at Christ and says, ‘I can’t prove a thing, but there’s something about his eyes and his voice. There’s something about the way he carries his head, his hands, the way he carries his cross-the way he carries me.'”

246. “One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God

247. “When a man leaves home, he leaves behind some scrap of his heart. . . . It’s the same with a place a man is going to. Only then he sends a scrap of his heart ahead.”

248. “I pray for people I love when they are sick. I pray that way.”

249. “Your calling is where your own greatest joy intersects with the needs of the world.”

250. “Gail Godwin has written a book about the heaviest matters of loss, grief, and loneliness with a touch so light that I was as often deeply amused by it as I was deeply moved.”

251. “People will buy snake oil from anybody who seems to be selling it in a persuasive way”

252. “The pride that keeps us from forgiving is the same pride which keeps us from accepting forgiveness.”

253. “We learn to praise God not by paying compliments but by paying attention.”

254. “if you don’t have doubts you’re either kidding yourself or asleep. Doubts are the ants-in-the-pants of faith. They keep it alive and moving.”

255. “It is not the objective proof of God’s existence that we want but the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.”

256. “the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all”

257. “Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you because it is through what happens to you that God speaks…It’s in language that’s not always easy to decipher, but it’s there powerfully, memorably, unforgettably.”

258. “If the truth is worth telling, it is worth making a fool of yourself to tell it.”

259. “Faith is not being sure where you’re going, but going anyway.”

260. “Go where your best prayers take you.”

261. “You hear as many things as you would imagine. I hear voices of people I loved once. I hear moments that took place. I hear silences.”

262. “Not to love is, psychically, spiritually, to die. To live for yourself alone, hoarding your life for your own sake, is in almost every sense that matters to reduce your life to a life hardly worth the living, and thus to lose it.”

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263. “Where your deep gladness meets with the deep hunger of the world, there you will find a further calling.”

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264. “It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

265. “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

266. “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it no less than the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

267. “In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a pocket handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.”

268. “Vocation is the place where the world’s greatest need and a person’s greatest joy meet.”

“Vocation is the place where the world’s greatest need and a person’s greatest joy meet.”

269. “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.”

270. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

271. “Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it’s like to live inside somebody else’s skin.”

272. “One life on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.”

273. “The world is full of suffering indeed, and to turn our backs on it is to work a terrible unkindness maybe almost more on ourselves than on the world. But life indeed is also to be enjoyed. I suspect that may even be the whole point of it. I more than suspect that is why all the sons of God shouted for joy when he first brought it into being.”

274. “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”

275. “Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.”

276. “We cannot make the Kingdom of God happen, but we can put out leaves as it draws near. We can be kind to each other. We can be kind to ourselves. We can drive back the darkness a little. We can make green places within ourselves and among ourselves where God can make his Kingdom happen.”

277. “Pay attention to the things that bring a tear to your eye or a lump in your throat because they are signs that the holy is drawing near.”

278. “Resurrection means that the worst thing is never the last thing.”

How can reading Frederick Buechner quotes be beneficial?

Reading quotes from Frederick Buechner can be immensely beneficial in a number of ways. 

Here are just a few of the ways in which his words can have a positive impact on your life:

Inspiring reflection: Buechner’s quotes are often deeply thought-provoking, encouraging readers to reflect on their own lives and experiences. By taking the time to ponder his words, you may gain new insights into your own spiritual journey and find renewed motivation to live a more purposeful life.

Offering comfort: Buechner’s quotes are filled with empathy and compassion for the human condition. They can offer a sense of comfort and solace during difficult times, reminding us that we are not alone in our struggles and that there is hope even in the darkest of moments.

Providing guidance: Buechner’s quotes often offer practical advice for navigating life’s challenges. They can serve as a source of guidance and inspiration, helping you to stay focused on what’s truly important and to make decisions that align with your deepest values.

Encouraging growth: Buechner’s quotes are rooted in a deep understanding of the human experience and the complexities of faith. They can challenge you to grow and evolve in your own beliefs and practices, encouraging you to deepen your spiritual understanding and to live a more meaningful life.

Offering perspective: Buechner’s quotes are often characterized by a sense of perspective and balance, encouraging readers to see both the beauty and the struggles of life with clear eyes. By reading his words, you may be better able to maintain a sense of equanimity and perspective, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

Next Steps

Implementing Frederick Buechner quotes into daily life can be a powerful way to stay connected to your spiritual practice and to maintain a sense of perspective and purpose. 

Here are a few ways to make Buechner’s words a regular part of your routine:

Read a quote each morning: Start your day off on a positive note by reading a Buechner quote each morning. Choose a quote that resonates with you and spend a few moments reflecting on its meaning and how it might apply to your day ahead.

Memorize a quote: Choose a Buechner quote that speaks to you on a deep level and commit it to memory. This can be a powerful way to keep his words close to your heart throughout the day, allowing them to serve as a source of guidance and inspiration.

Journal about a quote: If a particular Buechner quote has left a lasting impression on you, consider journaling about it. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the quote, reflecting on how it has impacted your life and what lessons you can take from it.

Share a quote with others: If you have friends or loved ones who are also interested in spiritual growth, consider sharing a Buechner quote with them. This can be a powerful way to connect with others and to build a sense of community around your shared values.

Use a quote as a mantra: Choose a Buechner quote that speaks to a particular challenge or struggle you’re facing, and use it as a mantra throughout the day. Repeat the quote to yourself whenever you need a reminder of its wisdom and guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Frederick Buechner?

Frederick Buechner is an American writer and theologian, known for his work as a novelist, essayist, and preacher. 

He has written over 30 books, including both fiction and non-fiction works, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century.

What are some of Frederick Buechner’s most famous quotes?

Frederick Buechner’s quotes are known for their poetic, insightful, and deeply spiritual nature. 

Some of his most famous quotes include:

  • “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”
  • “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
  • “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
  • “The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.”
  • “Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.”

What makes Frederick Buechner’s quotes unique?

Frederick Buechner’s quotes are unique in their ability to bridge the gap between the secular and the sacred, the everyday and the divine. 

He has a gift for expressing complex spiritual concepts in simple, accessible language, and his words resonate with people of all backgrounds and beliefs. 

Buechner’s quotes are also known for their poetic, imaginative nature, and for the way in which they capture the essence of the human experience with insight and empathy.

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Diane

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