January 6, 2016

Wednesday with Words: Charlotte Mason's Ourselves

We are down to the last few weeks of Ourselves, which is the fourth volume of Charlotte Mason's educational series.  Not only that, but its the last of the 6 volumes to be finished!  Over at the AO forum, we've been working through them for just over 2 years.

Here are some quotes that struck me this week. They are from Book IIPart II: The Will, Chapters 1-6.
It is well we should face the possibility of living without the exercise of will, in order that we may will and make our choice.  Shall we live this aimless, drifting life, or shall we take upon us the responsibility of our lives, and will as we go?      p.128
It is not safe to take success in life as a criterion. His Will is the measure of the man; and many a man has become rich or famous without willing, on the easy lines of his nature, by the strength of his desires while many another of constant will lives unknown and yet it is the persons of constant will, which implies impersonal aims, who are the world's great possession, and are discerned to be such.  p.132
The simple, rectified Will, what our Lord calls 'the single eye,' would appear to be the one thing needful for straight living and serviceableness.  p. 138
As has been said, a great secret of the art of living is to be able to pass the t tempting by-paths and strike ahead.  p. 139
Living means more than the happenings of one day after another.  We must understand in order to will. "How is it that ye will not understand?" said our Lord...  p. 142
But the same thing repeats itself: great occasions do not come to us at any time of our lives; or, if they do, they come in the guise of little matters of every day.  Let us be aware of this.  The 'great' sphere for our Will is in ourselves.  Our concern with life is to be fit, and according to our fitness come the occasions and the uses we shall be put to.  To preserve Mansoul from waste, to keep every province in order - that, and not efforts in the outside world, is the business of Will.  p.142 
The Labour of Choice. We are usually ready enough to choose between things, though some of us shirk even that responsibility.   p.143
Every man and woman who does not live in the continual thoughtful exercise of a temperate will, is more or less of a lay figure, pulled by the strings of other people's opinions.  p.144
No doubt there are many choices to make, but they come one by one, and there is always the time to choose.  p.146
There would not seem o be much difference between the two courses [allowance and choice]; but most ruined lives and ruined families are the result of letting allowance do duty for will-choice.  p.147

And finally...
The ideas we admit become our opinions; the opinions upon which we take action become our principles; our principles and our opinions are ourselves, our character, the whole of us for which we are responsible.  p.150


  1. I especially like the last quote! That's a great one to chew on.

  2. Oh, that's really good, especially the last sentence. What we think and believe informs our actions without us even realizing it how deeply it happens.


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