Christianity 201

January 4, 2012

Brennan Manning Quotations

Brennan Manning (christened Richard Francis Xavier Manning) is an author, monk, priest, contemplative and speaker. Born and raised in Depression-era Brooklyn, New York, Manning finished high school and enlisted in the US Marine Corps, where he fought in the Korean War. When Manning returned to the states, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained to the Franciscan priesthood.In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, a religious order committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning then spent time diversely, transporting water via donkey, as a mason’s assistant, a dishwasher in France, a prisoner in a Swiss jail (by choice), and spending six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert.In the 1970s, Manning returned the US and began writing after falling into, and climbing out of, alcoholism. 


The Word we study has to be the Word we pray. My personal experience of the relentless tenderness of God came not from exegetes, theologians, and spiritual writers, but from sitting still in the presence of the living Word and beseeching Him to help me understand with my head and heart His written Word. Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of *knowing* Jesus Christ personally and directly. When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited. ~Ragamuffin Gospel


“The deepest desire of our heart is for union with God.  God created us for union with himself.  This is the original purpose of our lives.”


“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” ~ Ragamuffin Gospel


“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”


“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ~Abba’s Child


“I am deeply distressed by what I only can call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself… God cannot be confined within the covers of a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants.” ~ Signature of Jesus


“The defining moments of my life have not been my sins or successes.  They’ve been a depressingly small number of decisions that involved real risk.”


“There is the “you” that people see and then there is the “rest of you”. Take some time and craft a picture of the “rest of you.” This could be a drawing, in words, even a song. Just remember that the chances are good it will be full of paradox and contradictions. ” ~Furious Longing of God


“Everybody has a vocation to some form of life-work. However, behind that call (and deeper than any call), everybody has a vocation to be a person to be fully and deeply human in Christ Jesus.” ~The Wisdom of Tenderness


“Jesus said you are to love one another as I have loved you, a love that will possibly lead to the bloody, anguish gift of yourself, a love that forgives seven times seven, that keeps no record of wrong. This is the criterion, sole norm, the standard of discipleship in the New Israel of God.” ~Furious Longing of God


“The god who exacts the last drop of blood from his Son so that his just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased, is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God of Jesus, he does not exist.” ~Above All


But the answer seems too easy, too glib. yes, God saved us because he loved us. But he is God. He has infinite imagination. Couldn’t he have dreamed up a different redemption? Couldn’t he have saved us with a pang of hunger, a word of forgiveness, a single drop of blood? And if he had to die, then for God’s sake — for Christ’s sake — couldn’t he have died in bed, died with dignity? Why was he condemned like a criminal? Why was his back flayed with whips? Why was his head crowned with thorns? Why was he nailed to wood and allowed to die in frightful, lonely agony? Why was the last breath drawn in bloody disgrace, while the world for which he lay dying egged on his executioners with savage fury like some kind of gang rape by uncivilized brutes in Central Park? Why did they have to take the very best? One thing we know — we don’t comprehend the love of Jesus Christ. Oh, we see a movie and resonate to what a young man and woman will endure for romantic love. We know that when the chips are down, if we love wildly enough we’ll fling life and caution to the winds for the one we love. But when it comes to God’s love in the broken, blood-drenched body of Jesus Christ, we get antsy and start to talk about theology, divine justice, God’s wrath, and the heresy of universalism. ~Ragamuffin Gospel


Sources: Good Reads; Quoteland; A Daughter of Grace; Apprenticeship to Jesus; Zedekiah List; After All; Quoting Quotes

1 Comment »

  1. […] its name in part from Brennan’s inspiration. If you don’t know of him, here’s a set of quotations I compiled from his writing a little more than a year […]

    Pingback by Weekend Link List | Thinking Out Loud — April 14, 2013 @ 9:59 am | Reply


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