Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Our Favorite Quote of the Week

'Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing is so gentle as real strength.'
--Francis DeSales. Many thanks to a friend for spotting this and sending it along. You can learn more about the Catholic saint here. To review earlier FQOTWs, go here.

13 Comments:

At 11:15 AM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Someone needs to share this quote with the Jesuits ... and a few Basilians I used to know too.

:)

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

As you may not know, TJ, I'm a grad of a Jesuit college, and a lifelong fan of the Jesuits (the only one I could say that about in the Catholic church, largely because they're the leading intellectual dissenters of the church, the ones who keep reminding the Catholic conservatives that there's eminent value in reason, and that reason and faith need not be at war with each other). Anyway, you'll have to let us know if you meant that as a compliment or criticism of the Jebbies (my guess is the former).

And I have to admit to having been ignorant of the Basilians. Hadn't ever heard of them, but learned via Google that they collaborate with the Jesuits on a Cristo Rey school (which teaches inner city kids entrepreneurism, among other useful things) in your native Detroit. As you may know, the Jesuits opened one in Cleveland not too many years ago.

www.basillian.org

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Mike Q said...

Wow, I was just blogging about antimetabole, and you present an example of it in the words of Francis de Sales. It's a rhetorical device defined as "the repetition of words, in successive clauses, in reverse grammatical order."

 
At 6:34 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Beautiful quote.

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I love quotes - thanks for a good one.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Wow, Mike. Never heard of that rhetorical device, so thanks for teaching me something today. How appropriate that it came couched in a Jesuit context, at least in one of the comments, given your Jesuit connection. And thanks for commenting, Michelle and Diane. I remember one commenter some months ago complaining about my using quotes occasionally, under the argument that it's too common a practice. I remember thinking: well, that depends on how good the quote is, now doesn't it? This one really grabbed me. And as I should have mentioned in the original item, I was doubly charmed by the quote because of where my friend who pointed it out to me happened to find it: in a women's restroom!

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Apologies for the delayed response. I did know you were a product of the Jesuits (college). I'm a product of those Basilians (H.S). Both ruled with somewhat of an iron hand in my experience. I meant it as a compliment, of course, and also a bit tongue-in-cheek for all the "gentleness" I was shown by a few fathers in particular. Some of those guys could really hit hard! But, of course, we all survived.

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks for the clarification. Should have figured that out. When it comes to low grade violence, for me it was the nuns in grade school, who seemed to be occasionally acting out their sexual frustrations on boys. I remember one actually pulling a guy's hair and yanking his head. Those things would get you landed in jail today, but in the late 60s you could still get away with it. The Jesuits on the other hand, or the few that still remained by the time I got to college, were NEVER into that. There were a couple of very old timers who were bitter types verbally, but never physically. But then, high school and college are pretty different environments that way. And yes, we survived. Lots of parents, probably most, in our parents' generation (including mine) would whack you on the rear with something occasionally, and no one really thought it was a big deal, and thus you could also get away with a little of it in the classroom setting. Funny how relatively quickly that became an absolute cultural no-no. Now, a brisk pinch to the forearm would probably result in a lawsuit.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger Pat said...

Ah, the nuns....

I had a doozy of one as my teacher in elementary school. I never recall her offering the love of Christ. However, I do remember how she would wipe her nose with a tissue and then stuff that tissue into her bosom for later, clip her nails with a huge pair of office scissors while talking to the class, tell me NOT to smile in her classroom, and declare to me once in the hallway, "Really...there is something WRONG with you."

Fortunately, I met another num in high school, a frail, elderly woman, who was stern (football players would fear her), but who also had a heart of gold.

Yes, only the strong can be gentle.

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

No smiling in class. We're all business around here. That made me smile in recognition. There's nothing like the old-school Catholic grade school experience to instill character. It was such a bizarre experience on many levels (at least looking back, but it seemed quite normal at the time). But one most of us I think wouldn't trade for anything. Thanks for stopping by, Pat.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Pat said...

You are most welcome, John.

"It was such a bizarre experience on many levels (at least looking back, but it seemed quite normal at the time)." Isn't that the way it usually is for children? They are so trusting of authority figures...it is humbling to me as a mother.

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Enjoy it while it lasts, Pat. They don't remain quite so trusting forever, as I'm sure you know.

 

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