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M'Lord, I know from history that once upon a time in a much earlier Church, a vocation to the priesthood meant a call from the bishop, not necessarily a call from God. And I heard the Bishop of Rome himself call you to be that which you have now become by ordination and consecration. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Like any wise ruler, Abbot Arkos did not issue orders vainly, when to disobey was possible and to enforce was not possible. It was better to look the other way than to command ineffectually. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
For Man was a culture-bearer as well as a soul-bearer, but his cultures were not immortal and they could die with a race or an age ... -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
that was the hell of it. From a distance, one's adversaries seemed fiends, but with a closer view, one saw the sincerity and it was as great as one's own. Perhaps Satan was the sincerest of the lot. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing? -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
And how will this come to pass?' He paused and lowered his voice. ' In the same way all change comes to pass, I fear, And I am sorry it is so. It will come to pass by violence and upheaval, by flame and by fury, for no change comes calmly over the world. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Because a doubt is not a denial. Doubt is a powerful tool, and it should be applied to history. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Could a man decide, 'I am right, and everyone else is wrong?'
No evidence of a malfunction, he thought. I am not a coward. Neither am I insane.
His heart cried, 'I am disgusted with this purposeless war. I shall quit fighting it. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The mourner does not pity the dead . He pities himself for having lost the living . -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
It is said that water is for cattle and farmers, that milk is for children and blood for men. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
He fought because it was considered the 'thing to do,' because he liked the people he had to live with, and because those people wouldn't have a good opinion of him if he didn't fight. People never needed much of a philosophic motive to make them do the socially approved things. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The seventh John Smith had even conspired to have a conspiracy against himself in Argentina, with resulting civil war, so that the weapons could be tested under actual battle conditions--for the region had been overpopulated anyway. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
One should be embarrassed to speak of God in the third person. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
To abuse the intellect for reasons of pride, vanity, or escape from responsibility, is the fruit of that same tree. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
They don't think up questions like that on the basis of what might be true; they concoct the questions on the basis of what might be sensational if it just happened to be true. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The visage of Lucifer mushroomed into hideousness above the cloudbank, rising slowly like some titan climbing to its feet after ages of imprisonment in the Earth. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
What did you do for them, Bone? Teach them to read and write? Help them rebuild, give the, Christ, help restore a culture? Did you remember to warn the, that it could never be Eden? -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Nayrol is without speech and therefore never lies ... (Nayrol is) one of the nature gods of the Red River people. Objective evidence is the ultimate authority. Recorders may lie, but Nature is incapable of it. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Listen, my dear Cors, why don't you forgive God for allowing pain? If He didn't allow it, human courage, bravery, nobility, and self-sacrifice would all be meaningless things. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
You don't have a soul, Doctor. You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Men must fumble awhile with error to separate it from truth, I think- as long as they don't seize the error hungrily because it has a pleasanter taste. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The trouble with the world is me. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Science Fiction has always attracted more talented writers than it could reward adequately. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Why do you take delight in leaping to such a wild conjecture from so fragile a springboard? -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
When you tire of living, change itself seems evil, does it not? for then any change at all disturbs the deathlike peace of the life-weary. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Speak up, destiny, speak up! Destiny always seems decades away, but suddenly it's not decades away; it's right now. But maybe destiny is always right now, right here, right this very instant, maybe. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The captain looked defensive. "You regard our customs as primitive?"
Every society to its own tastes, captain. The wisdom of one society would be folly for another. Who is qualified to judge? Only the universe, which passes the judgment of survival on all peoples. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The dead must humor the mourners, he thought, and the sick must comfort the visitors. It was always so. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
The trouble with being a priest was that you eventually had to take the advice you gave to others. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
When Holy Church occasionally hinted that she still considered her authority to be supreme over all nations and superior to the authority of states, men in these times tended to snicker. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Bless me Father, I ate a lizard. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
But you've always used words so wordily in crafty defense of your Trinity, although He never needed such defense before you got Him from me as a Unity. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Simpletons! Yes, yes! I'm a simpleton! Are you a simpleton? We'll build a town and we'll name it Simple Town, because by then all the smart bastards that caused all this, they'll be dead! Simpletons! Let's go! This ought to show 'em! Anybody here not a simpleton? Get the bastard, if there is! -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
But neither infinite power nor infinite wisdom could bestow godhood upon men. For that there would have to be infinite love as well. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
[ ... ]How can a great civilization have destroyed itself so completely?"
"Perhaps,"said Apollo, "by being materially great and materially wise and nothing else. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
When there was fear, men huddled in small groups and counted their friends on their fingers, and all else was Foe. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
He did not like saying it. To communicate a fact seemed always to lend it fuller existence. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
It never was any better, it never will be any better. It will only be richer or poorer, sadder but not wiser, until the very last day. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
That's where all of us are standing now, he thought. On the fat kindling of past sins. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
It is not what you meant to say, but it is what your saying meant. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law - a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
What I impose, I must accept. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
I mean Jesus never asked a man to do a damn thing that Jesus didn't do. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Where's the truth?" he asked quietly. "What's to be believed? Or does it matter at all? When mass murder's been answered with mass murder, rape with rape, hate with hate, there's no longer much meaning in asking whose ax is bloodier. Evil, on evil, piled on evil. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Dom Paulo had not expected to convince him. But it was with a heavy heart that the abbot noticed the plodding patience with which the thon heard him through; it was the patience of a man listening to an argument which he had long ago refuted to his own satisfaction. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
If you try to save wisdom until the world is wise, Father, the world will never have it. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Probing the womb of the future is bad for the child. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
I'm not so sure he's mad, Father. Just a little devious in his sanity. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Ask for an omen, then stone it when it comes
de essentia hominum. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Insofar as thought could be governed at all, it could only be commanded to follow what reason affirmed anyhow; command it otherwise and it would not obey. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Soon the sun will set'- is that prophecy? No, it's merely an assertion of faith in the consistency of events. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
Nature imposes nothing on you that Nature doesn't prepare you to bear. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.
In divinity opposites are always reconciled. -- Walter M. Miller Jr.