- 'There are a few of us -madmen all! -who are in love with knowing, who would sell the last shirt from our backs for one small truth, one tiny star-fire to light up the murk and mystery of what we call our life: We may go blind before we see it, that's the haunting-'
- 'No man -prince, peasant, pope, -has all the light, who says else is a mountebank. I claim no private lien on truth, only a liberty to seek it, prove it in debate, and to be wrong a thousand times to reach a single rightness. It is that liberty they fear. They want us to be driven to God like sheep, not running to him like lovers, shouting joy!'
- 'Ever since the Greeks, we have been drunk with language! We have made a cage with words and shoved our God inside!'
- 'If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth.'
- 'O Mother of Christ, who saw what men could do to one who heard an alien music! Bend to me, be tender. I am blind and deaf and dumb. And yet I do see visions, shout a kind of praise, feel in my pulse apocalyptic drums.'
- ' I wonder how it will read five hundred years from now? -To make a man confess a loving God you burn him!'
- 'To make that long, last donkey-ride between the pikeman and the stake, to hear the shouting and the chant of hypocrites, to be a spectacle for animals in human masks!'
- 'You I admire as being more, -much more -a man, and more believer too, than half the canting orthodox.'
- ' I'm a Nolan. I could dazzle you in dialect, because the words do not make the same sense to different men.'
- 'Who said to me, a foetus in the womb, a puling babe, 'You have your life, but on the condition that you thus believe?' No one! Not even God! So gentlemen, I say you have no right to make terms for my life. I tell you then- No! I will not recant.'
- 'It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price:. One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.'
- 'Man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage.'
- 'If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine.'
- 'Once you accept the existence of God -however you define him, however you explain your relationship to him - then you are caught forever with his presence in the center of all things.'
- 'The hardest freedom to maintain is the freedom of making mistakes.'