Category Archives: Quotations

Quotations: ST. FRANCIS DE SALES, BISHOP OF GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (1567-1622). (22 Quotes).

FEATURE Image: Saint Francis de Sales sitting in front of a copy of his work, “Introduction to the Devout Life,” oil on canvas, c.1790s, 77 cm x 99.5 cm, unknown artist. Hovering above the 17th century French Catholic bishop, saint, and Doctor of the Church are two cherubs who regard him with kindness. Public Domain. Francis de Sales became one of the most respected theologians in Christianity. A great preacher and writer, Francis de Sales ascended the seat of Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, and, with widowed Baroness Jeanne de Chantal (1571-1641), founded the religious order of the Visitation. As a diplomat and man of prayer, Francis de Sales exerted a significant influence within the Catholic Church and among the temporal powers of the day.  https://www.antiques-delaval.com/en/paintings/7068-hst-large-portrait-saint-francois-dirty-life-devote-cherubs-xviiieme.html -retrieved January 24, 2023.

INTRODUCTION.

By all accounts, St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was a gracious and holy man. His writings were, similar to the Jesuits of whom Francis was a student, admirer and close friend, directed to society’s well-to-do and concerned with how they, as society’s current elites can practice, most basically, Christian “noblesse oblige” within their privileged social station.

Also like the Jesuits at that time, St. Francis de Sales’ writing defended and explained Catholic doctrine to a Europe which, in an age of Renaissance and Reformation, was very much in revolt against it. To preserve and endorse a social order as well as to perfect belief in doctrine, St. Francis de Sales communicated in everything he did and said that both were attainable.

Like the sons of St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis de Sales was also active in the direction of souls. In one of the bishop’s most famous writings, the Introduction to the Devout Life, it was a Jesuit father (Jean Fourier, S.J.), who strongly encouraged a noble lady around 1607 to prevail upon the local bishop to have his personal writings of spiritual direction to her and others printed to reach a wider audience of contacts and friends at court and others among the ruling class. St. Francis de Sales was equally eager to have his personal instructions for the advancement and perfection of individual souls printed as soon as due diligence allowed. The decision to publish the book in 1608 was auspicious – Introduction to the Devout Life became an instant international bestseller and, over four centuries, remains a spiritual classic. As John K. Ryan observed, “Its greatness lies in many things: in its originality, its completeness, its sincerity, its balance, its penetration and its style…(and) as such it is beyond adverse criticism in any important way.”1

Born Francis Bonaventure in August 1567 at the Sales castle in Savoy, France, Francis de Sales, like Ignatius of Loyola in Spain 75 years earlier, was born to nobility. His father was a lord of multiple localities and Francis was destined to inherit his life of wealth and power. As a boy and young man, Francis was naturally spiritual and as he pretended to be just another one of the fellows, class-mates in Annecy recognized Francis was devout. Despite his attraction to being a priest there were tremendous social pressures to marry a beautiful woman and inherit his father’s lordly mantle.

His family sent Francis to Paris to round out these social expectations as well as continue his education. They wanted Francis to attend the select, prestigious, and venerable (founded in 1305) College of Navarre with its renowned library, but Francis chose to attend the new (founded 1562) Jesuit College of Clermont, which was known for its academic rigor and religious and moral vision.2 At the Jesuit school St. Francis de Sales came into contact with the post-Tridentine humanism taught by its dedicated Jesuit directors and faculty such as Father Possevin, S.J. 3 In Paris St. Francis de Sales was exposed to the classical learning of the modern renaissance and which was applied in the service of the Christian mind and spirit. Francis took to humanism better than any of his class-mates and knowingly expressed its intellectual tenets the rest of his life.

Although away from the distractions of the fine hôtel de Navarre in rue Saint André des Arts which housed the College of Navarre, St. Francis de Sales could be seen working out his spiritual life often in prayer in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès in the Latin Quarter. The church (now demolished) on Rue Saint-Jacques was at the time a center for Christianity among the students. A later saintly Frenchman who often frequented Saint-Étienne-des-Grès was St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660). The young college-age layman finding he had serious religious scruples and temptations to lust4, it was in Saint-Étienne-des-Grès that St. Francis de Sales ultimately took a personal vow of chastity before a statue of the Virgin Mary which allowed him to pursue his spiritual desires.

After studying for another 5 years at the University of Padua in Italy, the young nobleman, St. Francis de Sales, emerged in 1591 with the equivalent of today’s J.D.- Ph.D. In those years the young nobleman was surrounded by the Renaissance writings of philosophers and poets such as Marsiglio Ficino (1433-1499), Giovanni della Casa (1503-1556) and contemporary French theologian Pierre Charron (1541-1603).5 Francis was not yet a priest but set on its course – and continued onwards to ordination after he told his family of his decision. In May 1593, at 25 years old, now-Dr. Francis de Sales, Esquire, was ordained a Catholic priest and joined the staff at the chapter of Geneva. Then-bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, Claude Grenier (1548-1602), gave the young, freshly well-educated St. Francis de Sales the virtually impossible task to reconvert to Catholicism the citizens of Geneva, the seat of John Calvin (1509-1564), French Protestant and author of the Institutes of the Christian Religion. Despite his charitable and positive efforts at persuasion, the die was mostly cast for Geneva and the young priest’s efforts were unsuccessful, including the disappointment of having to deal solely on the promises of princes whether temporal or ecclesial. 6

The Protestant Reformation and the Wars of Religion  (1562-1598)  made for impassioned attitudes and complicating factors in European and Church politics and the individual practice of one’s faith in the larger, fragmented, society at the start of the 17th century.

In 1602 St. Francis de Sales was sent to Paris to negotiate the condition of Catholics in reconverted territories in France. He met and discussed these matters, particularly exploring its approach for the reintegration of the Catholic faithful at each stratum of society that was peaceful, positive, charitable and temperate. At meetings taking place at the worldly façade of the court of Henry IV ( (1553-1610), St. Francis de Sales met some of the great figures of the religious and mystical revival taking place in France in that time, including Henri, Duc de Joyeuse (1563–1608), a General commander in the Wars of Religion and member of the Catholic League who became a Capuchin Franciscan after the death of his wife, Catherine de La Valette; Pierre de Bérulle (1575-1629), one of the most important mystics of the 17th century in France and, later, a Catholic cardinal; and Madame Acarie (1566-1618), mother of seven children, and foundress and lay sister of the Discalced Carmelites in France. Born Barbara Avrillot (and called “Barbe”), Madame Acarie was widely respected in Paris as the person to whom the wealthy, whenever they desired to help the poor, made sure their alms went through her hands. St. Francis de Sales, a respected theologian, also influenced the temporal powers – the dukes of Savoy, Charles Emmanuel I (1562-1630) and Victor Amadeus I (1587-1637), the regent of Savoy Christine de France and kings Henry IV and Louis XIII of France.

Charles Emmanuel I. Duke of Savoy (1562-1630) by Jan Kraeck
Victor Amadeus I (1587-1637), artist unknown.

In July 1602 following the death of Bishop Grenier, St. Francis de Sales became Bishop of Geneva. Francis de Sales traveled ceaselessly around the diocese and beyond, preaching and hearing confessions, and the people quickly realized they had a holy bishop. It was by way of one of his penitents, St. Jeanne-Françoise de Chantal (1572-1641), that St. Francis de Sales worked his vision of the foundation of a new order, the Visitation, whose charism was to serve the sick and the poor with “the charity and gentleness of Jesus Christ.”7

St. Francis de Sales with Sisters of the Visitation, Francisco Bayeu y Subias (1734-1795), c. 1760, oil on canvas, , 56 x 34 cm, Prado, Madrid, Spain. https://www.museodelprado.es/coleccion/obra-de-arte/san-francisco-de-sales/540cb0b9-ca15-4c43-b011-d2d71f7c5820?searchMeta=san%20francis The 18th century painting, once in the Royal Collection, is today housed in a regional art museum in Salamanca.

It was in this first decade of the 17th century amidst this flurry of evangelizing and other activity that the 40-something bishop wrote the Introduction to the Devout Life (1608). The book, written in short chapters with titles on topical challenges, problems, and opportunities in the Christian life in the world, provides its responses based on practical counsels. The Introduction to the Devout Life much as his later work, On Love of God, are very reliant on the Bible for its teaching and sprang directly from the bishops’ care of souls that he was doing actively and sacramentally from his diocese in southeastern France. Francis’s generous range of literary sources reflected his education in Renaissance humanism and included classical authors, Montaigne, contemporary poets as well as medieval saints and spiritual writers such as Sts. Anselm, Bonaventure and Bernard. Francis was also familiar with the writings and religious vision of the 16th century Spanish mystics and saints such as Teresa of Avila and Ignatius of Loyola.8

The exceedingly practical St. Vincent de Paul observed about St. Francis de Sales’ On the Love of God: “A truly admirable book, which has as many admirers of the sweetness of its author as it has readers. I have carefully arranged that it shall be read throughout our Society [the Vincentians], as the universal remedy for all feeble ones, the good of slothful ones, the stimulus of love, and the ladder of those who are tending to perfection. Oh! that all would study it as it deserves! There should be no one to escape its heat.”9

St. Francis de Sales by J. J. Owens. c. 1905, based on the Turin portrait.

St. Francis de Sales, now in his early 50s, visited Paris in 1618 where he preached sometimes twice each day. His great work was to show how ordinary daily life, particularly a busy and successful life, could be a path of holiness. No issue was too large or small for the saint to address – from parties, clothes, flirtations, daily life among marrieds – but all directed to the purpose of imitation of Christ and the love of God. St. Francis takes for granted one’s daily life in French society and proposes no maxim which involves any violent upheavals from it. Part of the saint’s genius is to see that there can be no dispute between the social order and the Christian life. At the same time, St. Francis is no easy teacher or grader – he asks that the Christian virtues be upheld and practiced. That insistence on Christian virtue informing one’s daily life is also the genius of his doctrine. While highly educated and imbued with the grace of mind of the Renaissance, St. Francis carried naturally within himself and conveyed the wisdom of the French soil of Savoy, its terroir. As Francis took one’s daily life in French society for granted, he took Catholic doctrine as if for granted. He then explained it with a highly cultivated mind and gracious spirit that expressed itself with a sweetness and gentleness of style that expounded it as “the universal remedy…the stimulus of love…the ladder …to perfection” as St. Vincent de Paul recognized to those with faith or not, or in trouble in day-to-day life.

St. Francis de Sales perhaps speaks to the 21st century most clearly by way of his theology that is presented without sentimentality or melodrama and is clearly explained and lived to be particularly possible and desirable. Francis said: “He who lives for God, frequently thinks of Him during all the occupations of life.”12

January 24 is the memorial feast day of St. Francis de Sales on the General Roman Calendar of 1969. St. Francis de Sales is the patron of writers, journalists, the Catholic press, confessors, the deaf and educators. He was proclaimed a saint and doctor of the Catholic Church. The following quotes are taken from his many published works of spiritual edification, counsel, exhortation, and solace.

NOTES:

  1. Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales, trans. and edited by John K. Ryan, Image books (Doubleday) Garden City New York, 1955, p.11.
  2. Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal: Letters of Spiritual Direction, trans. by Péronne Marie Thibert, V.H.M. and selected and introduced by Wendy M. Wright and Joseph F. Power, O.S.F.S. Paulist Press New York, 1988 p.19.
  3. CF. Elisabeth Stopp, “St. Francis de Sales at Clermont College,” in Salesian Studies, 6 (Winter 1969). pp. 42-43.
  4. Wright & Power, p. 20.
  5. Wright & Power, p. 22.
  6. The Saints: A Concise Biographical Dictionary, edited by John Coulson, Guild Press, New York, 1957, p. 305.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Wright & Power, p. 28.
  9. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/love.all.html – retrieved January 23, 2023.
  10. The Saints: A Concise Biographical Dictionary, edited by John Coulson, Guild Press, New York, 1957, p. 305.
  11. On the Love of Godhttps://www.ccel.org/ccel/desales/love.all.html – retrieved January 23, 2023.
  12. Maxims and counsels of St. Francis de Sales for every day in the year, Ella McMahon, M.H. Gill & Son, Dublin, 1884, p. 12.

QUOTATIONS.

Keep yourself faithfully in the presence of God. Avoid hurry and anxiety, for there are no greater obstacles to our progress in perfection.
Cast your heart gently, not violently, into the wounds of our Savior and have an unlimited confidence in his mercy and goodness.
To make good progress we must devote ourselves to getting over that portion of the path which lies close before us, and not amuse ourselves with the desire to attain the last step before we have accomplished the first.
We must make our imperfections die with us from day to day. Dear imperfections, which cause us to recognize our misery, which exercise us in contempt of self, and the practice of virtue, and notwithstanding which God accepts the preparation of our hearts which is perfect.
I recommend simplicity to you; look before you, and not at the dangers which you behold in the distance. Keep your will firmly bent upon serving God with your whole heart. While you are thus occupied in forecasting the future you expose yourself to some false step.
Have no care for tomorrow. Think only of doing well today. And when tomorrow shall have become today, then we shall think about it.
We must make a provision of manna for each day only. Let us not be afraid that God will fail to send down more upon us tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, and every day of our pilgrimage.
Since the Heart of our Lord has no more loving law than meekness, humility, and charity, we must firmly maintain these dear virtues in us.
True sanctity lies in love of God, and not in foolish imaginings, raptures, &c. Let us devote ourselves to the practice of true meekness and submission, to renouncement of self, to docility of heart, to love of abjection, to consideration for the wishes of others : this is true sanctity and the most amiable ecstasy of the children of God.
May you belong to God forever in this mortal life, serving Him faithfully through its trials, bearing the cross after Him, and may you be His forever in life eternal with the whole celestial court!
The great good of our souls is to live for God, and the greatest good to live for God alone. He who lives but for God is never sad, save at having offended God.
He who lives for God, frequently thinks of Him during all the occupations of life.
Saint Francis gives the rule to Saint Jeanne de Chantal (Study for the Chapel of the Visitation at Nantes), 19th century, Elie Delaunay (1828-1891), Louvre.
The reason persons are in the world is to receive and carry the gentle Jesus: on our tongue by proclaiming him and in our arms by doing good works.
I am as human as anyone could possibly be.
See the divine lover at the gate. He does not simply knock once. He continues to knock. He calls the soul: come, arise my beloved, hurry!…In short, this divine Savior forgets nothing to show that his mercies are above all his works, are greater than his judgment.
Solitude has its assaults, the world its busyness – in either place we must be courageous since in either place divine help is available to those who trust God and humbly and gently ask for his fatherly assistance.
Since this congregation does not have as many austerities or indissoluble bonds as formal orders, the fervor of charity and force of a deep personal resolution must supply for all that…so that might be realized the saying of the Apostle which affirms that charity is the perfect bond.
Saint François de Sales blesses Saint Jeanne de Chantal, Chapelle de la Visitation at Nantes n° 61
XIXe siècle. Elie Delaunay (1828-1891), Musée d’Arts de Nantes.
It is the height of holy disinterestedness to be content with naked, dry, and insensible acts carried out by the superior will alone….In the end, the savior wants us to be His so perfectly that nothing else remains for us, and to abandon ourselves to His providence without reservation.
Since the heart is the source of all our actions, as the heart is, so are they.
For myself, I cannot approve the methods of those who try to reform a person by beginning with external things, such as bearings, dress or hair. On the contrary, it seems to me that we should begin inside.
I beg you, my dear Sister, govern your community with a great expansiveness of heart…The more solicitous, open, and supportive you are with them, the more you will win their hearts.
I had the courage to my give [my own dying mother] the last blessing, to close her eyes and mouth and to give her the last kiss of peace at the moment she passed away; after which my heart swelled and I wept….

Quotations: ALEXEI VON JAWLENSKY (1864-1941), Russian-German Expressionist Artist. (3 Quotes).

FEATURE image: Photograph of Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941), Russian-émigré German Expressionist painter.

Alexei von Jawlensky, Self Portrait, 1912.

Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941) was a late 19th-early 20th century Russian-émigré artist to Germany. In an art career which began in earnest in the mid1890’s Jawlensky became, over the next decade and a half, one of the most progressive avant-garde modernist artists of his generation.

Based in Munich, Germany, Jawlensky surrounded himself with a coterie of fellow young ex-patriate artists such as Russian Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Jawlensky’s art developed out of an international search which took the artist from Russia to Germany and onwards to France, England, the Low Countries, and Switzerland.

Jawlensky borrowed significantly from the avant-garde art movements of his day, namely, French Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Cloisonnism, Synthetism, Symbolism, and Fauvism. Jawlensky was a friend and admirer of Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954).

Before the outbreak of World War One, Jawlensky experimented and synthesized his modern art to the plateau of new-found German Expressionism. In a working dialogue with Wassily Kandinsky, German painter Gabriele Münter (1877-1962), and several other avant-garde artists, Jawlensky pursued his individual experimentation with particular interest as to the liberation of color and form. This was done in the context of European modernism, including its response to modern society’s industrialization and mechanization.

Emergent German Expressionists such as Jawlensky sought to free the object —that is, more precisely, the whole natural world—from its objective fixity so to situate it within the inner feelings and spirit of the artist.

As a European modernist, Jawlensky participated in international modern art exhibitions that featured avant-garde artists whose artwork was controversial in general society as well as in the prevailing art world. Jawlensky co-founded leading avant-garde art groups such as, in 1909, the New Munich Artist’s Association and, in 1911, Der Blaue Reiter. These artists groups led modern art towards representational expressionism and abstraction.

Jawlensky died in Germany on March 15, 1941.

The whole matter of French art is a matter of seeing nature as beautiful, very beautiful in face. But on the whole, this is not enough. You have to create your own nature.

Apples, trees and human faces merely help me to see something different in them– the life of color, as comprehended by someone who is passionately in love.

My paintings were aglow with colors and so my soul was contented with them.

Introduction:

Quotations: STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ (1842-1898), Symbolist Poet. (6 Quotes).

Édouard Manet, Stéphane Mallarmé, poet. 1876, oil on canvas, 27.2 x 35.7 cm, Musée d’Orsay.

FEATURE image: Stéphane Mallarmé, 1896, by Nadar.

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) is an important Symbolist poet of the last half of the 19th century in France. Throughout his writing career, Mallarmé helped formulate and express the rising anti-naturalism in contemporary art. This movement’s inclinations mainly took the form of Symbolism – that is, the fascination with many types of literature and the inclination to draw upon these sources for inspiration in dreams and visions. Although Mallarmé’s poetry is verbally dense and difficult with fleeting imagery, the poet was influential in modern art circles. The poet hosted a weekly salon in Paris known as “les jeudis” which provided a social network for many leading modern thinkers and practitioners, such as Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Odilon Redon, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch.

Mallarmé was born in Paris in 1842 into a family of civil servants. His mother died when he was 5 years old and his younger sister when he was 15. It was around the time of his sister’s death that Mallarmé wrote his first poetic essays, influenced by Romantics and early Symbolist writers and poets Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe. His first poems were published in 1862. Mallarmé earned a teaching certificate in the English language, studied in London and married a young German woman he met in France. Mallarmé began a teaching career in 1863 in Tournon in the Ardèche, where his daughter was born in 1864. He also was teaching in Besançon and Avignon. Outside of Paris, Mallarmé did not prosper as a teacher and viewed his assignments with disdain as necessary modes of employment. The young man turned to poetry as a means of escape. It was between 1863 and 1866 that Mallarmé wrote some of his renown poems: Brise marine, L’Azur, Les Fleurs, a version of L’Après-midi d’un faune. His collection of poems published in Le Parnasse contemporain in 1866 led to Mallarmé’s first notoriety.

In 1871, Mallarmé, now a father of a family with two children, was assigned to teach in Paris and settled near the new Saint-Lazare train station. His social network of artists and writers blossomed in this period. In 1873 Mallarmé met Édouard Manet who soon illustrated Mallarmé’s translation of American writer Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven, published in 1875. In 1876 Manet painted his portrait that is now in the Musée d’Orsay.

Mallarmé’s 8-year-old son died prematurely at the end of the 1870s and Manet died a few short years later in 1883. Mallarmé formed new friendships with Berthe Morisot and her daughter Julie Manet, whose guardian Mallarmé became at the death of his parents. Mallarmé also became friends with other leading avant-garde artists and poets such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. To the general reader, Mallarmé was criticized as a crazy poet who used unintelligible verse. Yet to avant-garde literati such as Paul Verlaine and Joris-Karl Huysmans, Mallarmé’s demanding poetry they publicly admired.

In 1892 appeared Vers et Prose, a major collection of Mallarmé’s poems. The frontispiece was a lithographed portrait by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, with whom Mallarmé was a close friend. In the early 1890s Mallarmé came into contact with the “Nabis,” young Post-Impressionists such as Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis and particularly Édouard Vuillard. In the 1890’s Mallarmé’s Paris salon was frequented by the young Paul Valéry.

At 51 years old, in 1893, Mallarmé retired from teaching and stayed in his small house of Valvins. He died there on September 9, 1898, at the age of 56. In these final years, Mallarmé’s recognition and fame remained high. It was part of the vivacity and dynamism of literary and artistic circles for which Mallarmé had been one of its inspirations since the 1870s. In 1896 Mallarmé’s influence included his being elected as Prince des poètes and inheriting the seat occupied by the recently deceased Paul Verlaine.

SOURCE: https://www.musee-mallarme.fr/fr – retrieved July 4, 2022.

The poetic act consists of suddenly seeing that an idea splits up into a number of equal motifs and of grouping them; they rhyme.

You don’t make a poem with ideas, but with words.

Every soul is a melody which needs renewing.

Dreams have as much influence as actions.

That virgin, vital, beautiful day: today.

Do not paint the object, but the effect which it produces.

Quotations: Rev. C.T. VIVIAN (1924-2020, American), minister, author, civil rights leader. (65 Quotes).

President Barack Obama delivers the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom to Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)/ Public Domain.

FEARURE image: Rev. C.T. Vivian 1024px-C.T._Vivian CC BY-SA 4.0

Rev. C.T. Vivian died on July 17, 2020 at 95 years old. Rev. Vivian was born in Boonville, Missouri, and migrated as a child with his mother to Macomb, Illinois. Rev. Vivian grew up to attend Western Illinois University (WIU) in Macomb, Illinois, where he worked as the sports editor for the student newspaper. In 1987, decades after attending the university, Rev. Vivian received an honorary doctorate from WIU.

Rev. Vivian’s career as an activist began in Peoria, Illinois, where, in 1947, he participated in sit-in demonstrations to successfully integrate Barton’s Cafeteria. Soon after, he served with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr. and joined Dr. King’s executive staff. In that capacity, Rev. VIvian served as the national director of affiliates for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

In the mid1960’s Rev. Vivian organized and directed efforts to re-evaluate activist networks and goals and the ideology and practice of Black Power, as well as the role of Christian faith among its participants.

In 1965, Rev. C.T. Vivian became Director of Fellowships and Internships of the Urban Training Center (UTC) for Christian Mission in Chicago. Founded with a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1963 to train African American Christian pastors and organizers—Rev. Jesse Jackson was among the first 19 men trained under Rev. Vivian’s program at the UTC in its first year—the organization considered new dimensions to protest movements in Chicago concerned with Black power, Black identity and Black unity.

By means of lectures, readings, discussions and nonviolent training exercises such as “the Plunge” where participants had to survive on their own for seven days without access to housing, food, or other resources, the organization existed to help its participants to seek ways to take power from structures which affect their lives particularly on the West and South Sides of Chicago. 

In 1970, following the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, Rev. Vivian became the first of Dr. King’s staff to write a book based on his experiences in the civil rights movement. Rev. Vivian’s book was entitled Black Power and the American Myth.

Rev. Vivian eventually became director of the Urban Theological Institute at Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of African-American seminaries. He was also board chair of Capitol City Bank, a minority-owned bank founded in 1995 that focused on loans for underserved areas. With eight branches in metro Atlanta, Capitol City Bank closed in 2015.

Through the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute founded in 2008, Rev. Vivian continued to do the kind of work he did in Chicago in the 1960’s which was facilitating mainly youth who were seeking discerned strategies for their material and spiritual goals. On behalf of at-risk youth and college graduates, Rev. Vivian fostered innovative leadership for their career development in the 21st century. In 2012, Rev. Vivian returned to serve as interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and, in 2013, President Obama awarded Rev. Vivian the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

PHOTO: CC BY-SA 4.0

The United States began with a struggle for civil rights. The specific issue – taxation without representation – was merely a focus for the larger question of whether or not a dominant majority would continue to exploit a subject minority. The American colonists decided that this oppression was not tolerable.
America was born as a revolutionary nation.
The question always before the Black man was: What must I do to be free?
Freedom was conceived of in commercial terms, and indeed there was cause for this..Yet the fact is that when ordinary Black people began to move it was not an economic force that moved them. They sought dignity, not dollars; manhood, not money; pride, not prosperity.
It was Martin Luther King who removed the Black struggle from the economic realm and placed it in the moral and spiritual context.
As a nation, America had steadfastly refused to accept the humanity of its Black minority. It had perpetrated an endless series of horrors more ghastly than most of its citizens could imagine or believe
Racism began as rationalization. It began as a justification of the white man’s injustice to the Black. The greed that brought Black men into slavery was not alone enough to make the institution bearable to the white conscience.
White Americans had to become racists or John Browns…There were many more whites of John Brown’s persuasion than is commonly known. The annals of Southern history document the executions of scores of whites accused of fomenting Black revolt.
Today bigotry most often shows itself as blind indifference and willful ignorance rather than as racist activism.
When Martin Luther King emerged, he raised the issues from the pragmatic to the sublime.
During the time of slavery abolitionists were accused of violence for merely ADVOCATING an end to slavery, while the steady falling of the overseer’s lash went unquestioned as a necessary fact of life.
White America has accepted the brutality of enforced poverty, the violence of economic and social discrimination, the viciousness of personal intolerance, as social facts.
The Blacks who were brought to this country as slaves were systematically stripped of all cultural ties…Nor were they allowed to develop new institutions to replace the old. They were not permitted to read or write.
Blacks were permitted nothing by which to mark themselves as human. They had neither legal nor moral rights. They were property, not people.
Although the Constitution had been amended to declare him a citizen, the Black was neither considered to be, nor treated as, a man.
Even the Black church, which has been the closest thing in most communities to be a truly independent Black institution, has largely failed to deal with the facts of Black America. The church has taught that Blacks were human. But that they would only enjoy its privileges after death.
Blacks had to come to see themselves as masters of their own fate, masters of their secular destiny as well as their spiritual destiny.
These facts — (of economic discrimination, infant mortality rate, malnutrition) and all the others which describe the Black condition — we knew well. Our problem was to make the rest of the nation understand them.
Among other models of social action was the American Revolution itself.
When white people find filth in the streets of their neighborhood they quite properly call city hall and complain, and it is removed. But when the same whites (and warped Blacks) find filth in the ghetto streets, they call for a clean-up campaign by ghetto residents.
In 1964, the Small Business Administration reviewed its past ten years and reported that it had made seven loans to Blacks during that time –seven in ten years. This record is typical of most banks, savings and loans companies, and other financial institutions, which provide the capital that allows people to enter the commercial world.
As Gunnar Myrdal pointed out in his classic study AN AMERICAN DILEMMA, this country does not have a Negro problem, it has a white problem. Changing the white majority, their attitudes and their institutions, is basic to any solution to “racial strife.”
We saw that the failure to admit Blacks to the society had created a permanent ambivalence within the nation, an ambivalence which warped everything that the nation did. Even the simple facts of history had been so twisted that it was impossible for most Americans to understand what happened to their land or why they had arrived at the crisis they were facing.
The first permanent non-Indian settlers in what is now the United States were not whites seeking religious freedom but Blacks seeking physical freedom. These people came here as slaves with an ill-fated Spanish colonial venture. They rebelled and sought refuge with the Indians. The Spanish left and the Blacks remained. This took place more than a hundred years before the landing of the Mayflower.
Of major importance is the fact that at the time of the Revolutionary War the entire American economy was sustained by slavery. Slaves were held in every colony.
For Blacks were not the only ones oppressed by slavery. Whites were also brutalized by their inability to escape from slavery. In the South this was especially clear. A police state was created and the entire population lived in terror of a slave uprising.
Millions of Americans suffered from misplaced hatreds. The classic example is the poor white Southerner who has been pitted against Blacks by the powerful men who exploit them both.
Most of the antislavery agitation in the United States came from poor whites in the South. These people saw that slavery kept THEM in bondage by allowing planters to control all the best land and manipulate the markets to their own advantage.
John Calhoun voiced the typical slaveholder’s view when he said freedom for whites was impossible without the enslavement of Blacks.
In the Dred Scott decision of 1857…the Supreme Court explained that the phrase “the people of the United States” in the Constitution was never meant to include Blacks.
Congress…created the Freedmen’s Bureau, an agency designed to make the ex-slaves participants in the national economy. Much good work was done by the Bureau.
In the Fifteenth Amendment, the government officially forbade the denial of voting rights because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” And having done this, the government washed its hands of the whole matter.
One reactionary Supreme Court decision interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment as having granted the privilege of national citizenship, but not necessarily state citizenship. This gave Blacks rights such as access to seaports, but left questions of education, suffrage, and employment up to the states.
During the 1890s, two to three Blacks were lynched every week – week after week, year after year.
During the Jim Crow mania, states, counties, towns, and cities vied with one another in passing repressive legislation, running all the way from the silly to the insane. This was the period which the “separate but equal” doctrine was taking shape.
The Civil Rights Act of 1965 was intended partly to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment, because no more than a tiny fraction of the Black population had ever actually been allowed to vote.
Ironically, it is America’s firm commitment to equalitarian ideals which makes the race question so intense.
What began as a Negro rights movement and became a civil rights movement would have to become a human rights movement encompassing the entire nation. It would not be enough even for the nation to change its attitudes toward Black people – we saw that the nation would have to change its attitude toward itself as well. White people as individuals and as a group would have to examine and redefine themselves, their past, and their future just as Blacks were doing.
Almost every public pronouncement concerning the condition of Blacks insisted that their situation was rapidly improving. But since Blacks were invisible to the white world, these questionable statements went unverified.
Some of our leaders recommended movement through education…Others to industrial occupations…still other leaders counseled violence. Throughout the history of America we fought many times. Before emancipation there were over 250 slave conspiracies and revolts.
To all who accepted it, nonviolence offered new power. It pitted calm courage against frantic fear. It set the action of love against the reaction of hate.
Nonviolence was a method which at once began to end the old and create the new.
The Birmingham campaign of 1963 was the first large-scale test of the new method (of nonviolence). It was titled “Project C” – C for CONFRONTATION.
When it became clear that we would not be crushed, official Birmingham accepted our demands—(1) desegregation of all public facilities, (2) hiring and upgrading of workers without discrimination, (3) the release of all jailed demonstrators, (4) the establishment of a permanent biracial committee to keep communications open between Blacks and whites.
Our movement depended on mass support; the mobilization of our people was our principal weapon.
We were continually warned about “backlash”—which is what white people do when Black people fail to “stay in their place.”
We were continually told by whites and fearful Blacks alike that we were fomenting discord, creating racial strife, mounting reaction and bigotry.

Introductory text:

White liberals also touted the success gained through legal action. But important as court battles have been, they failed to make any basic change in the lives of most Blacks.
Ten years after the school desegregation cases of 1954, only 2.14% of the nearly 3 million Black children in Southern schools have been affected and were receiving anything like a desegregated education.
As this protest reached massive proportions it became clear that those Americans who were not coming to realize the justice of the Black demands were closing their minds more permanently and more desperately to justice.
Massive opposition was stirring. White citizens’ councils were forming throughout the South. In the Northern cities, the names were different but the motives were the same whether they came under the heading of parents’ and taxpayers’ groups, homeowners’ associations, or community school councils.
Our accomplishments often bewildered us as much as our defeats.
It was not until the riots began that we understood the extent of our failure. The message from the streets was that hundreds of years of Black appeals for justice would now give way to action.
When there is no justice for ALL, then there is no justice at all. Some may be favored, but none are safe.
Genuine integration can never become a reality until both parties can live together as equals; and that will not happen until each sees the other as human, until each holds the same values upon which the entire culture can grow.
Integration is dead. The concept and the experience, insofar as they were tried, have both failed because of the powerful racism of this society. Blacks, in response, have realized that they must develop their own distinctive culture.
Black organizations that have organized around welfare have almost universally called for the abolishment of that system.
Who then really WANTS the welfare system? Who profits by it? Who perpetuates it? It is, of course, the people who RUN the system.
It is those who ADMINISTER welfare who get the most money, not the recipients; it is the administrators who are most truly ON welfare. This point should always be remembered when they try to speak for the Black community.
The collapse of the integration model has led to many social experiments ranging from Black capitalism to the African revival. There has been a headlong search for new sources of identity.
Within Black communities, therefore, the cry is no longer for integrated education, but for community control. It means Black control of Black schools, just as whites have always controlled their schools.
In a few cases there have even been beginning attempts at coalition between bigots and Blacks in opposition to the white liberals who refuse to give up the rubric of integration.
Some segments of the Black movement are concerning themselves specifically with the creation and re-creation of Black culture. Others have found inspiration in such international movements as socialism.
The only sanity seems to lie in a new form of segregation which will hopefully, in time, bring a new demand for integration – the integration of whites into the re-created culture that the Black minority has begun to achieve.

Introductory biographical text:

Most brief, educationally distinct citations come from C.T. Vivian’s Black Power and the American Myth.

Quotations: Wisdom of THE HEART. (15 Quotes).

FEATURE image: 16th century/Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), The Daoist Immortal Lü Dongbin (detail), artist unknown, China. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Public Domain.

Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a piece of straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody. Abdullah Ansari of Herat (1006-1088), quoted in Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, 1945.

A spiritual master and the “Sage of Herat,” Abdullah Ansari of Herat was a Muslim Sufi saint.

The awakening of the spirit is accomplished because the heart has first died. When a human being can let his or her heart die, then the primordial spirit wakes to life. To kill the heart does not mean to let it dry and wither away, but it means that it is undivided and gathered into one. The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Chinese Book of Life.

The Secret of the Golden Flower is a Chinese Taoist book about Neiden, or inner alchemy. It provides an array of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that Taoist initiates use to prolong life.

The text is attributed to Chinese scholar and poet Lü Dongbin (796 -1016) of the late Tang dynasty which ruled from 618 to 907.  

I was sleeping, but my heart was awake./The sound of my lover knocking!/“Open to me, my sister, my friend,/my dove, my perfect one!/For my head is wet with dew,/my hair, with the moisture of the night.” Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) 5:2.

The Song of Songs, also known as Song of Solomon, or Canticle of Canticles, is a book of the Old Testament. The Song of Songs is unique within the Hebrew Bible: it shows no interest in Law or Covenant or the God of Israel, nor does it teach or explore wisdom but celebrates sexual love, giving “the voices of two lovers, praising each other, yearning for each other, proffering invitations to enjoy.” The two are in harmony, each desiring the other and rejoicing in sexual intimacy. The women of Jerusalem form a chorus to the lovers, functioning as an audience whose participation in the lovers’ erotic encounters facilitates the participation of the reader.

Jewish tradition reads it at Passover as an allegory of the relationship between God and Israel. Christianity interprets it as an allegory of Christ and his bride, the Church.

The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe. Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950).

Ramana Maharshi was an Indian Hindu sage and jivanmukta (liberated being).

As I stood there it seems to me that the gentle lady seemed to be coming towards me to open my breast and write within, there in my heart, placed so as to suffer, her beautiful name, in letters of gold, so that it might never escape. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), Amorosa visione, 1343.

Giovanni Boccaccio together with Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–1321) and Petrarch (1304- 1374) is part of the so-called “Three Crowns” of Italian literature of the fourteenth century. He was a versatile writer who put together different literary genres and trends and making them into original works. His creative activity was characterized by experimentation.

Boccaccio’s most notable work is The Decameron, a collection of short stories or tales begun in 1349 and completed in 1353. Ranging from the tragic to erotic, the 100 tales are told during the Black Death by a group of three young men and seven young women who are sheltering in a villa outside Florence to escape it. Boccaccio revised The Decameron in the early 1570’s, after likely having conceived the series of novellas after an epidemic in 1348. The Amorosa Visione was a fifty-canto allegorical poem.

It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now. Allen Ginsburg (1926-1997), Indian Journals (1970).

Allan Ginsburg was a poet and writer. Starting in the 1940’s, Ginsburg was a member of the Beat Generation along with Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997). Ginsburg opposed militarism, capitalism, and sexual repression. His views on drugs, hostility to the government, and an openness to Far Eastern religions and philosophy were countercultural.

Ginsburg’s Indian Journals: March 1962 – May 1963 is a travel journal during Ginsberg’s journey in India with partner Peter Orlovsky.

The heart is the monarch of the body. Tikunei haZohar, chapter 13.

Tikunei haZohar is a main text of the Kabbalah which is a method, discipline, and school of thought in Jewish mysticism.

The light of splendor shines in the middle of the night. Who can see it? A heart which has eyes and watches. Angelus Silesius (1624-1677).

Angelus Silesius was born Johann Scheffler in Breslau, the capital of Silesia. Raised a Lutheran, he changed his name when he became a Catholic in 1653. He became a Franciscan Catholic priest in 1661. During this time, Silesius began publishing polemical essays against Protestantism as well as religious mystical poetry.

That sun of the intellectual world, that inner eye of the heart…Richard of Saint-Victor (1110-1173), medieval mystic.

Richard of Saint-Victor was one of the founders of medieval Christian mysticism. A Scottish philosopher and theologian, Richard was a member of a religious order (or “canon regular”). From 1162 to 1173 he was the superior of the famous Augustinian Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris, a richly endowed monastery and school.

The abbey and school of Saint Victor was an international center of piety and learning. During the first (though less famous) Renaissance of the 12th century, the monastery and school attracted many famous scholars, students, and retreatants, such as Peter Abelard (1079-1142), Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141), Peter Lombard (1096-1160), Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and Thomas Becket (1119-1170). 

I know of no restorative of heart, body, and soul more effective against hopelessness than the restoration of the Earth. Barry Lopez (1945-2020), nature writer.

Barry Lopez  was an American writer of both fiction and nonfiction. His extensive nature writing is known for its humanitarian and environmental concerns. Lopez won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for Artic Dreams (1986) and Of Wolves and Men (1978) was a National Book Award finalist.

“Dear Lord we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all people living, peace in the whole world…” Joseph Auslander (1897-1965), U.S. Poet Laureate.

Joseph Auslander was an American poet who was appointed as the first Poet Laureate to the Library of Congress in 1937 and served until 1943.

I’d like to know what it is that catches the imagination like a strange touch on the very heart, the very spiritual being of prenatal memories, that persist with reference to earth-places, like little streams bordered by willows, like fields of yellow wheat, like hills with the summoning sky above them against which may stand an old corncrib? Why should such common things stir down where there is no explanation in the heart? Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950), U.S. poet.

Edgar Lee Masters grew up in Sangamon County in Central Illinois. In Chicago he built a successful law practice, and for eight years he was the partner of Clarence Darrow. At 30 years old, in 1898, Masters published A Book of Verses, his first collection of poetry.

His Spoon River Anthology, a collection of monologues from the dead in an Illinois graveyard, was published in 1915. It was wildly successful and is one of American literature’s most popular books of poetry. Masters was friends with other Illinois poets such as Carl Sandburg and Vachel Lindsay. 

For where your treasure is there your heart will be also. Gospel of Luke 12:34.

One of the sayings of Jesus on trust in God. In talking about the Kingdom of God, Jesus develops it in terms of one’s own death. He keeps its ideal positive and demanding.

The human heart is local and finite, it has roots; and if the intellect radiates from it, according to its strength, to greater and greater distances, the reports, if they are to be gathered up at all, must be gathered up at that center. George Santayana (1863-1952), The Philosophy of Travel.

George Santayana was a Spanish-American philosopher, poet, and humanist who made important contributions to aesthetics, speculative philosophy, and literary criticism.  A one-time professor of philosophy at Harvard University, Santayana was well known for his aphorisms. Attributed to Santayana is the famous aphorism: “”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In The Philosophy of Travel (published in The Virginia Quarterly Review in Winter 1964), Santayana speculates on the human capacity for locomotion as the source and definition of our intelligence.

Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus says the Lord GOD: Because you are haughty of HEART, you say, “I am a god! I sit on a god’s throne in the HEART of the sea!” But you are a man, not a god; yet you pretend you are a god at HEART! Ezekiel 28:2

According to certain scholars Ezekiel is the “first fanatic in the Bible” and whose motto was “for the greater glory of God” (R.H. Pfeiffer, Introd., 543). Ezekiel’s visions and actions are strange, prompting many in modern scholarship to interpret them as symbolic. Ezekiel prophesied starting about the year 600 BCE and whose oral tradition was written down later by others. Traditionally, Ezekiel is understood as being the major prophet of the Babylonian Exile and whose major theme is the condemnation of idolatry as the source of evil befalling humankind.

Quotations: KIM TSCHANG-YUEL (1929-2021). (1 Quote).

FEATURE image: Kim Tschang-Yuel. Fair Use.

I lived with the seriousness of someone who has caught a tiger by the tail. Once you have caught hold of a tiger’s tail, you have to follow it all the way to the end, on pain of being eaten alive. Kim Tschang-Yuel (1929-2021), painter of water drops.

From an interview with critic and curator Michel Enrici published in 2018 and cited in The New York Times, “Kim Tschang-Yeul, 91, Dies; Painted Water Drops Swollen With Meaning,” updated January 19, 2021.

Kim Tschang-yeul (December 24, 1929–January 5, 2021) was a French-Korean artist known for his abstract paintings of water droplets.

PHOTO: “Tschang Yeul Kim” by rocor is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Quotations: U.S. PRESIDENTS Watching. (16 Quotes).

FEATURE Image: “White House” by Diego Cambiaso is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The advent of the new president changed everything. The Roosevelts transformed the White House as completely as the swift march of public thoughts and events had changed the country. No longer did the Executive Mansion resemble a medieval castle besieged by the forces of progress. The drawbridges were figuratively let down, and the moats drained of their timeworn prejudices. The archers of reaction withdrew from their turrets, and the victorious New Deal army took over the battlements.” George Abell and Evelyn Gordon, Let Them Eat Caviar, Dodge Publishing Co., New York, 1937.

“Even that son of a bitch looks impressive in that getup!” Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), at the White House after visiting President Warren Harding in the Oval Office. Quoted in Katherine Graham’s Washington, Knopf, 2002.

Alice Roosevelt was President Teddy Roosevelt’s oldest child and the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, who died in childbirth. Alice grew up to be an independent, unconventional and outspoken “first daughter” and was an important figure in the women’s movement in the first half of the 20th century.

Alice Longworth was perfectly realistic about Harding—and didn’t like the Republican president very much. Sen. Brandegee of Connecticut, a member of Harding’s own inner circle, called the former newspaper owner of The Marion Star, Senator from Ohio, and 29th U.S. President, “no world-beater, but he’s the best of the second-raters.”

[The Wilsons] finally settled on a house in the 2300 block of S Street, Northwest, and purchased it…[W]e rode by everyday, and the President was eager as a bridegroom about getting back to private life. He seemed to gain new strength as he shed the idea of responsibility and assumed the freedom of a civilian. But he did not forget his dreams.” Colonel Edmund W. Starling, Starling of the White House…as told to Thomas Sugrue…, Simon & Schuster.

Colonel Edmund William Starling (1875-1944) was chief of the Secret Service detail in the White House from 1914 to 1943. In his thirty years of service at the White House he was responsible for the personal safety of five President of the United States—Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Starling idolized Woodrow Wilson. His first exposure to Wilson left him “in a daze.” Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the posthumous book is based on over 11,000 personal letters Starling wrote over the decades, mostly to his mother back home. Starling’s ashes are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

SOURCES: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/ewstarling.htm; https://hoptownchronicle.org/hopkinsville-native-edmund-w-starling-protected-five-presidents-as-a-secret-service-agent/

“As Senate majority leader, I participated in many private conferences with President Franklin D. Roosevelt….Usually we would talk in his bedroom at the White House, and the President, wrapped in his cherished gray bathrobe, which he clung to year after year….would interrupt work on a pile of papers and puff at a cigarette through his long ivory holder as we exchanged views.” Alben W. Barkley (1877-1956), That Reminds Me, 1954.

Senator Barkley (later Vice President Barkley under President Harry S. Truman) describes an almost iconic FDR- one can almost imagine a bespectacled 32nd president smoking a cigarette from a long cigarette (in this instance, ivory) holder and jauntily thrusting his chin forward.

Alben W. Barkley, Democrat of Kentucky, was one of the most prominent American politicians of the first half of the 20th Century. Barkley hoped expectantly to someday be the U.S. President–or at least his party’s sometime presidential nominee, particularly in 1952. The longtime majority leader of the U.S. Senate had to settle, however, for being a one-term vice-president in the executive branch. After Truman chose Barkley to be his running mate in 1948 and that ticket triumphed in one of American history’s most astounding upsets, Alben Barkley became a popular national figure known everywhere as “The Veep.” Like his Kentucky forebear Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Barkley was a noted story-teller and often started his sentence with, “And that reminds me…” 

“It was all gone now-the life-affirming, life-enhancing zest, the brilliance, the wit, the cool commitment, the steady purpose….[President Kennedy] had so little time: it was as if Jackson had died before the nullification controversy and the Bank War, as if Lincoln had been killed six months after Gettysburg or Franklin Roosevelt at the end of 1935 or Truman before the Marshall Plan.” Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) on the death of JFK. From A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, Houghton Mifflin, 1965.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was an American historian who resigned from Harvard and was appointed Special Assistant to the President in the Kennedy Administration in January 1961. Per Kennedy’s desire, Schlesinger served as a sort of ad hoc roving reporter and troubleshooter on behalf of the president. In February 1961, Schlesinger was told of the plans for what developed into the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and wrote a memorandum to the president telling him that he opposed the action. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 Schlesinger aided United Nations ambassador Adlai Stevenson on his presentation to the world body on behalf of the Kennedy Administration’s ultimately successful efforts to peacefully remove Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. On November 22, 1963, Schlesinger had flown to New York for a luncheon with Washington Post owner Katharine Graham and the editors of her magazine, Newsweek. As they still sipped pre-luncheon libations and amiably talked about upcoming college football games that weekend, a young man in shirtsleeves suddenly entered the gathering. He tentatively announced to the group that, as Schlesinger relates in A Thousand Days, “the President has been shot in the head in Texas.”

“[George Washington’s] mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion.” Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president, Letter, January 1814.

After returning from France where he served as Minister Plenipotentiary with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in Paris in the mid-to-late 1780’s, Thomas Jefferson accepted President George Washington’s invitation to serve as the nation’s first Secretary of State in the early 1790’s. Jefferson eventually left Washington’s cabinet over his opposition to Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s promotion of a national debt and national bank in contrast to Jefferson’s vision of a minimalist federal government (see Joseph J. Ellis, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Random House, 1998, pp. 221-222). Thomas Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States in 1800 and served two terms as president. In 1803 Jefferson transacted the Louisiana Purchase that doubled the size of the United States and in the process acquired the most fertile tract of land of its size on Earth.

“During the inaugural parade [President George H.W.] Bush kept darting in and out of his limousine…These pop-outs were much better received than the Jimmy Carter business of walking the whole parade route. We Americans like our populists in small doses and preferably from an elitist.” P.J. O’Rourke, PARLIAMENT OF WHORES, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1991.

The Bushes were a big family and family oriented. O’Rourke reported in his best-selling book that on the first night of Bush’s presidency 28 members of the Bush family spent it at the White House.

“Mr Jefferson has reason to reflect upon himself. How he will get rid of his Remorse in his Retirement I know not. He must know that he leaves the government infinitely worse than he found it and that from his own Error or Ignorance. I wish his Telescopes and Mathematical Instruments, however, may secure his Felicity. But If I have not mismeasured his Ambition, he will be uneasy, and the Sword will cutt away the Scabbard. As he has, however a good Taste for Letters and an ardent curiosity for Science, he may and I hope will find Amusement and consolation from them: for I have no resentment against him, though he has honoured and Salaried almost every Villain he could find who had been an Enemy to me.” Former president John Adams (1735-1826), at Quincy, letter to Benjamin Rush, April 18, 1808.

The punctuation and capitalization are Adams’ original. see– https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-5238

John Adams (1735-1826), the second president of the United States, a Federalist, and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), a Democratic-Republican, were fierce political rivals. Both lawyers—Adams from Massachusetts and Jefferson from Virginia—each were enlightened political liberals who served in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia as well as headed the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Adams and jefferson also served together as ministers to France in the 1780’s. Into the 1790’s, as president (Adams) and vying to be (Jefferson), each served opposing visions for the direction of the new nation. At their extreme, the Federalists advocated to establish a strong Federal government that could alienate the individual rights of large groups. Jefferson’s vision of limited government included his advocacy in certain instances for state government to have the right to resist those federal laws that were injurious to local interest.

Jefferson’s narrow victory in the presidential election of 1800 made John Adams the nation’s first one-term president, and sent the New England patriarch into early retirement to Quincy, Massachusetts. For the next decade, John Adams harbored a barely hidden resentment of his political rival, if not enemy when measured by some of their florid rhetoric. Though these two sparring giants of the early republic eventually resumed civil correspondence—Adams and Jefferson stayed in contact until the day they died, both remarkably on the same day, July 4, 1826— Adams had been especially upset by the relentless propaganda campaign of Jefferson’s Republican party against him during the second president’s first term. The years-long libelous accusations described President Adams, in part, as narcissistic, incompetent, dangerous to democracy, unbalanced, and corrupt—all of which Jefferson had personally paid for and approved and which led to a premature and hasty departure of Adams as chief executive on March 4, 1801. (See Joseph J. Ellis, American Sphnix: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Random House, 1998, pp. 281-82).

Also see- https://openendedsocialstudies.org/2018/09/25/adams-jefferson-and-two-visions-for-the-united-states/

“Isn’t it nice that Calvin is President? You know we never really had room before for a dog.” Grace Coolidge (1879-1957), First Lady of the U.S. (1923-1929), in 1927.

Grace Coolidge was the wife of the 30th President of the U.S., Calvin Coolidge. Throughout her husband’s career, whether as Governor of Massachusetts, Vice-President, or President, Grace Coolidge avoided politics. Though the young Grace broke off a marriage engagement to marry Coolidge, her mother advised against marrying this young man. Calvin Coolidge and Grace Coolidge married on October 4, 1905—and Calvin Coolidge never settled his differences with his mother-in-law who felt her daughter was completely responsible for his rising political fortunes. The Coolidges had two sons, John (1906–2000) and Calvin (1908–1924). After Calvin Coolidge, Jr. died of blood poisoning in July 1924, the Coolidges were inconsolable. The story is well-known: while playing lawn tennis with his brother, John, at the White House, the teenager developed a blister on one of his toes. Within the week, the 16-year-old was dead of a blood infection despite being admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. (see- https://www.coolidgefoundation.org/blog/the-medical-context-of-calvin-jr-s-untimely-death/)

By 1921, the wife of Vice-President Coolidge entered Washington society and quickly became the most popular woman in the capital. In 1927 when Mrs. Coolidge made these remarks, the world that her husband was facing was in flux. In 1927, as France called to outlaw war, which was endorsed by the U.S, a Great Depression already began in Germany with its economic collapse on “Black Friday.” After President Coolidge called for a Naval Disarmament Conference, only a couple of global powers showed up.

The world seemed to be getting smaller in 1927. In May 1927 American Charles Lindbergh flew solo, nonstop, from New York to Paris and started the era of transatlantic air travel. Regular transatlantic telephone service also began in 1927. In the U.S., as the stock market boomed, much of it on shaky credit, lawyers and doctors earned around 3½ times more than a teacher or factory worker. Baltimore-born “Babe” Ruth hit a record 60 home runs in New York.

The first full-length sound motion picture, The Jazz Singer, opened in 1927. In Chicago there was an important art exhibition of Chinese Buddhist art of the Wei Dynasty. In 1927, Hemingway published Men without Women; Willa Cather published Death Comes for the Archbishop; and Thomas Mann published The Magic Mountain. That year’s Pulitzer Prize went to Thornton Wilder’s second novel, The Bridge of the San Luis Rey. It told the story of people who unexpectedly die together in a rope bridge collapse in Peru and the friar who witnessed the accident looking to figure out the possibly cosmic answers as to why.

“The days of transition from Kennedy to Johnson were as hard on me as they were on anyone else–harder. I was losing a dog and gaining a President I didn’t know. Not only didn’t I know him, I didn’t think I wanted to know him. He wasn’t boyish or good-natured or quick-witted like Kennedy and I heard him cussing out the help when things weren’t done fast enough.” Traphes Bryant, Dog Days at the White House, 1975.

In 1951, Traphes Bryant started out at the White House working as an electrician in the afternoons. Bryant moved on to respond to general maintenance calls including a broken White House elevator. In the 1950’s Bryant was already looking after the First Family’s pets, both for the Trumans and, later, the Eisenhowers. The line of work became official for Traphes Bryant in 1961 when John Kennedy became president.

Kennedy asked Bryant to become the new presidential kennel keeper. The president liked how Bryant trained the dogs to meet the presidential helicopter that would often be seen in photographs and films.

Though Kennedy himself was allergic to some animals, First Lady Jackie Kennedy adored all sorts of animals. During the next 1000 days while in office, the Kennedys kept several pets. At one point the first family, which included children Caroline and John, Jr., had nine dogs. The Kennedys also kept hamsters, horses, birds, a rabbit, and a cat. Some of the animals were gifts from foreign heads of state.

In 1961 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev sent the Kennedys a mixed breed dog named Pushinka. The dog’s mother had been sent into orbit in 1960 on Korabl-Sputnik 2. While a surprise, the Kennedy’s welcomed the Russian’s canine gift. In fact, Kennedy’s Welsh terrier, Charlie, not only had a new companion but a new mate: Pushinka gave birth to four puppies fathered by Charlie. Kennedy called the litter, “the pupniks.”

Bryant was officially in charge of Pushinka’s and Charlie’s grooming, exercise, and diet—and all the rest though those responsibilities ended abruptly for Kennedy in November 1963.

see BRYANT, TRAPHES L.: ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEW – JFK #1, 5/13/1964; Traphes Bryant, Dog Days at the White House, 1975; Katherine Graham’s Washington, Knopf, 2002, pp. 542-43; https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouseHistory/posts/traphes-bryant-pictured-here-had-been-a-white-house-electrician-since-1948-worki/3374666809225225/

“Nancy Dickerson wrote that ‘The LBJ social style was something of a shock to the capital. Starting right at the White House, the Johnson way was different…It’s difficult to comprehend the LBJ style because even by Texas standards he had large impulses. When the Johnsons said, ‘You all come,’ they meant it. Their lack of inhibition was new in Washington, a Southern city in the East. LBJ was a cowboy, and though that mythic figure is in the best American tradition, the Washington establishment, the press and the country were unaccustomed to a cowboy in the White House. The city shook its collective head.’ …However, the Johnsons gradually began to put their own mark on the city.” Katharine Graham, Katharine Graham’s Washington, Knopf, 2002, p. 458.

I always thought [President Jimmy] Carter was great…That kind of brain power made him the smartest president we’ve had in my time. His failing was as a politician. He did not know how to organize the White House and how to get along with Congress. Carter promised he was not going to work with the bureaucracy in Washington. He would be the people’s president.. He did it — and it doesn’t work. [Carter] proved that. Conversations with Cronkite: Walter Cronkite and Don Carleton, University of Texas at Austin, 2010, p.320.

“In a way the criticism of Washington is extremely healthy. Because the idea of Thomas Jefferson was that to make the system work, Americans always had to be in a state of semi-revolution against the government. He would have been terrified to think that in 2001 Americans might be uncritical of Washington and let it steal their liberties.” Michael Beschloss, U.S. historian, quoted in “Why Do They Hate Washington?” by Sally Quinn, The Washington Post, April 12, 2001.

Just the day before, I’d joked about being the vice president when I addressed a group of newspapermen covering the Senate. One of them called me Mr. Vice President and I said, “Smile when you say that,” and I told them that the Senate was the greatest place in the world and that I wish I was still a senator. “I was getting along fine,” I said, “until I stuck out my neck too far and got too famous. And then they made me VP and now I can’t do anything.” But now I wasn’t the vice president any longer, and there was plenty to do.” Harry S. Truman, 33rd U.S. President, Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman, ed. Margaret Truman, 1989.

“Do you know who the patient is in the emergency room?” “Yes.” “Would you give me his name, please?” I said, “It’s Reagan. R-E-A-G-A-N.” I waited for a reaction. “First name?” “Ron.” “Address?” I said, “1600 Pennsylvania.” His pencil stopped in mid-scratch. He finally looked up. “You mean…?” I said, “Yes. You have the president of the United States in there.” Michael K. Deaver at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. after the assassination attempt on President Reagan on March 30, 1981. From his Behind the Scenes, 1987.

On Monday afternoon, March 30, 1981, after giving a speech at the Washington Hilton Hotel at 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., in Washington, D.C., President Reagan was shot by 25-year-old would-be assassin, John Hinckley, Jr. The president was slammed to the floor of the presidential limousine by a Secret Service agent during the first split seconds of the shooting in a bid to save his life. Later Reagan expressed his anger for being treated very roughly by the agent though the agent knew he was just doing his job. Under a pile of agents, the 70-year-old president was raced in the limousine to George Washington University Hospital about a mile away.

At first it was believed that the president was unhurt, but within minutes, still on the way to the emergency room, Reagan coughed up blood from his lungs.

At the hospital, the president walked on his own power about 15 yards into the emergency room. Once inside the hospital, Reagan slumped and was helped by Secret Service agents into a private room off the lobby.

As the hospital’s trauma team assembled, it was still not clear whether Reagan had been hit or not in the hail of 6 bullets shot in quick succession by the would-be assassin’s .22 caliber gun. Bullets struck James Brady, Reagan’s Press Secretary, in the head above his left eye; Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy in the chest; and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty in the back of his neck ricocheting off his spine. All of them would receive medical attention and survive.

The doctors were just starting their examination of the president when a green smocked-hospital orderly with a clipboard approached Michael K. Deaver, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Reagan confidante, looking for information on the new patient. It soon became clear that Reagan had, indeed, been hit in the assassination attempt. A fragment of a bullet had ricocheted off the limousine’s armored car door and entered the new president below the armpit, traveled down his left side, bounced off a rib, punctured his lung, and stopped just inches from his heart.

“What convinces is conviction. You simply have to believe in the argument you are advancing. If you don’t you are as good as dead. The other person will sense something isn’t there, and no chain of reasoning, no matter how logical or elegant or brilliant, will win your case for you.” Lyndon B. Johnson, quoted in Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, St. Martin’s Press, 1991, p. 130.

Quotations: ARCHBISHOP DEREK WORLOCK (1920-1990). (1 Quote).

FEATURE image: Archbishop Derek Worlock, sculpture Liverpool. “Archbishop Derek Worlock, sculpture Liverpool” by mira66 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Derek Worlock (February 4, 1920 – February 6. 1996) was an English priest in the Roman Catholic Church and the Archbishop of Liverpool.

Worlock was committed to collaboration with all his fellow Christians. Worlock co-authored the books Better Together and With Hope in our Hearts (1995) with the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, David Sheppard. Worklock’s motto was Caritas Christi eluceat (“For the Shining Light of Christ”).

In 1994 Archbishop Worlock was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool award and appointed as a Companion of Honour in 1996. At his death that year, a memorial for him was planned. It was commissioned in 2005 and made possible through public donations. It was designed by British sculptor Stephen Broadbent (b. 1961). The memorial is situated at the halfway point of Liverpool’s Hope Street. Hope Street joins both the Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals. See it here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newfolder/2535308455

The aim of the statue was to create a lasting memorial to the work of the two religious leaders—Catholic archbishop Worklock and Anglican Bishop David Sheppard— who aimed to heal their churches’ deep religious divisions and serve as a unifying force in Liverpool.

I am my brother’s keeper, and he’s sleeping pretty rough these days. London OBSERVER, December 16, 1990. (On the homeless).

Sheppard-Worlock Statue by Stephen Broadbent. Above: Catholic Archbishop Derek Worlock. Commissioned in 2005 and paid for with public donations, the statue sits halfway between the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals that are both situated on Hope Street in Liverpool. The statue memorializes the two religious leaders who worked together as a unifying force to heal religious divisions among their churches and in the city. Below: Anglican bishop David Sheppard.

Coat of Arms, Most Rev. Derek Worlock, Metropolitan Archbishop of Liverpool. It contains Worklock’s motto: Caritas Christi eluceat (“For the Shining Light of Christ”).

PHOTO SOURCES:
File: Detail full length Sheppard-Worlock Statue 2017-2.jpg
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Source WikiCommons.

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Created: 18 September 2008
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File: Detail from the Sheppard-Worlock statue Liverpool. Anglican Bishop David Sheppard. Man vyi – Self-photographed. Own work, all rights released (Public domain)/

File: Coat of arms
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Quotations: CHIEF JOSEPH (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé leader. (5 Quotes).

FEATURE image: Portrait of Chief Joseph in native dress with ornaments, 1900, by Lee Moorhouse (1850–1926). Public Domain.

Somebody has got our horses. Reaction to violation of surrender treaty terms by U.S. Government.

“When the terms of surrender were violated by the government, [Chief] Joseph did not dig up the tomahawk and go on the warpath again…. He…. spoke with a straight tongue , and was a gentleman of his word. Nor did he blame [Maj. Gen. O. O.] Howard or [Col. Nelson A.] Miles for what his people suffered. He remarked only the above. (Quoted in Saga of Chief Joseph, H. A. Howard, University of Nebraska Press, 1978, p. 348.)

My son, never forget my dying words, this country holds your father’s body. Never sell the bones of your father and mother. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé. To his son on defending his homeland and people.

Gravesite of Chief Joseph, Nez Percé cemetery, Nespelem, Okanogan Co., Washington. Author’s photograph, 1993.

If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect him to grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth, and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented, nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé, North American Review, Cedar Falls, Iowa, April 1879.

We love the land. It is our home. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé, November 1876.

Suppose a white man goes to my neighbor and says to him, ‘Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell.’ My neighbor answers, ‘Pay me the money, and I will sell you Joseph’s horses.’ The white man returns to me and says, ‘Joseph, I have bought your horses and you must let me have them.’ If we sold our lands to the government, this is the way they were bought. Chief Joseph (c.1840-1904), Nez Percé, November 1876.

Quotations: POPE ST. JOHN XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli), 1881-1963. (10 Quotes).

FEATURE image: Pope St. John 23 (1881-1963). “Pope John XXIII” by jimforest is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

“Giovanni, why don’t you sleep? Is it the Pope or the Holy Spirit who governs the church? It’s the Holy Spirit, no? Well, then, go to sleep, Giovanni!” Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John, collected by Henri Fesquet.

One day John XXIII visited the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Rome. Deeply stirred by the pope’s visit, the mother superior whose nuns administered the hospital, went up to introduce herself. “Most Holy Father,” she announced, “I am the Superior of the Holy Spirit!” “Well, I must say you’re lucky,” the pope said. “I’m only the Vicar of Jesus Christ!” Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John, collected by Henri Fesquet.

Voglio essere buono, ad ogni costo, sempre, con tutti. (“I want to be good, at all costs, always, with everyone.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Una croce mi ci vuole: Signore Gesù aiutami a portarla umilmente e degnamente (“A cross is needed for me: Lord Jesus, help me to carry it humbly and worthily.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Non cade lacrima dai nostri occhi e non c’è sospiro del nostro cuore senza una riposta di Dio. (“There is no tear that falls from our eyes and no sigh of our heart without a response from God.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Mi sento più che mai unito ai tanti e tanti che soffrono negli ospedali e nelle case, o sono angustiati in varie forme. (“I feel more than ever united with the many who suffer in hospitals and homes, or are distressed in various forms.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Una gran medicina per i nostri mali è la buona coscienza, soprattutto l’abbandano nella Provvidenza di Dio. (“A great medicine for our ills is a good conscience, especially its abandonment to the Providence of God.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Per la pace in famiglia tutto bisogna sacrificare e tutto conviene prendere dalla buona parte. (“For peace in the family everything must be sacrificed and everything should be taken from its good part.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Figlioli, cercate più quello che unisce che ciò che divide… (“Little children, seek more what unites than what divides…”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).

Tutti ricordo e per tutti pregherò. (“I remember everyone and I will pray for everyone.”) Casa Natale di Papa Giovanni, Sotto Il Monte Giovanni XXIII (Bergamo).