* Capricious fortune took it into her head sometimes to lay upon a wound a salve of such value that a man became positively glad of the wound . . . But no, he did not believe in capricious fortune, but in a carefully woven pattern where every tightly stretched warp thread of pain laid the foundation for a woof thread of joy.
* There was a leap of joy in him, like a flame lighting up in a dark lantern. At that moment he believed it was worth it. This moment of supreme beauty was worth all the wretchedness of the journey. It was always worth it. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." It was the central truth of existence, and all men knew it, though they might not know that they knew it. Each man followed his own star through so much pain because he knew it, and at journey's end all the innumerable lights would glow into one.
* He knew now that every kind of life and situation holds somewhere within it for the finding its own kernel of quiet, each small possession of mortal peace a symbol of the eternal fortress and a door to it.
* To love is wisdom, warmth, and light. In that look he felt once that there was hope, both for himself and for the world. However dark the age, there were always men who loved enough to give their lives for others. Wisdom never quite died upon the earth. There had never yet been a day without, somewhere, birds' wings flashing in the sun and water lapping on a quiet shore. Eternity was a fact. Intellectually he had always known it, coldly and without conviction, but now the dry bones of fact seemed slowly to clothe themselves with flesh.
* A patch of blue gentian, a young boy's beauty, a wild swan flying, what are they but the Word?
-- Excerpts from Gentian Hill by Elizabeth Goudge