James Runcie Quotes
“Autumn was his favourite time of year, not simply for its changing colours but for the crispness in the air and the sharpness of the light. As the leaves fell the landscape revealed itself, like a painting being cleaned or a building being renewed. He could see the underlying shape of things. This was what he wanted, he decided: moments of clarity and silence.”
“The “wonder” felt by the shepherds at the Nativity, or the disciples at Pentecost; that sense of amazement when we experience something that is so far beyond our comprehension and yet it is still revealed to us in all its glory as a gift from the infinite. I think we’ve lost our awareness of what “wonder” really means: the more we content ourselves with the narrow confines of our existence, the less we wonder.”
“The fragility of a baby is a reminder of our own responsibility,’ Sidney continued. ‘He, or she, is at our mercy, as we are at God’s. A child can either be crushed to death or fed, nurtured, cradled and allowed to grow. We see ourselves in each new birth and remember our own childhood. A society is judged by how it treats its children and its old people. Do we offer a favourable climate for a flower to grow, or do we provide impossible soil, harsh rains, and constant darkness? Christ tells us that it is we who must provide the light to see and warm the child in the cold black nights of the soul. The candles of Christmas represent the hope of our own flickering humanity against death and despair, and no matter how frail the flame, we must trust in its ability to illuminate our fragile state. For the light entered the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. ‘This is the message of Christmas,’ Sidney concluded. ‘Light against darkness, vulnerability against brutality, life against death.”
“It is what often happens in the establishment. Inconvenient truths are left buried. If you don't ask too may questions of a gentlemen then you won't be disappointed."
"And this is what makes us British?"
"It is our face to the world," Sidney replied. "Many of us are civilised, charming and perfectly genuine people. Others have developed their reserve into a form of refined deceit. It's why people find the British so intriguing, Georgie. The line between the gentleman and the assassin can be so very thin.”