"When I was going through my transition of being famous, I tried to ask God why was I here? what was my purpose? Surely, it wasn't just to win three gold medals. There has to be more to this life than that."
"The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Christ, some of the other great Jewish teachers, Buddha, all preached it. Their followers forgot it. What is the trouble between capital and labor, what is the trouble in many of our communities, but rather a universal forgetting that this teaching is one of our first obligations."
"The myth of Demeter and Persephone, then, illustrates the power of the Greek religion as a religion of pure ideas--of conceptions, which having no link on historical fact, yet, because they arose naturally out of the spirit of man, and embodied, in adequate symbols, his deepest thoughts concerning the conditions of his physical and spiritual life, maintained their hold through many changes, and are still not without a solemnising power even for the modern mind, which has once admitted them as recognised and habitual inhabitants; and, abiding thus for the elevation and purifying of our sentiments, long after the earlier and simpler races of their worshippers have passed away, they may be a pledge to us of the place in our culture, at once legitimate and possible, of the associations, the conceptions, the imagery, of Greek religious poetry in general, of the poetry of all religions."
"It is with a rush of home-sickness that the thought of death presents itself.... Such sentiment is the eternal stock of all religions, modified indeed by changes of time and place, but indestructible, because its root is so deep in the earth of man's nature. The breath of religious initiators passes over them; a few "rise up with wings as eagles" [Isaiah 40:31], but the broad level of religious life is not permanently changed. Religious progress, like all purely spiritual progress, is confined to a few."
"The poetic experience, like the religious one, is a mortal leap: a change of nature that is also a return to our original nature. Hidden by the profane or prosaic life, our being suddenly remembers its lost identity; and then that "other" that we are appears, emerges. Poetry and religion are a revelation. But the poetic word dispenses with divine authority. The image is sustained by itself, without the need to appeal to rational demon stration or to the protection of a supernatural power: it is the revelation of himself that man makes to himself. The religious word, on the contrary, aims to reveal a mystery that is, by definition, alien to us."
"No person can be considered as possessing a good education without religion. A good education is that which prepares us for our future sphere of action and makes us contented with that situation in life in which God, in his infinite mercy, has seen fit to place us, to be perfectly resigned to our lot in life, whatever it may be."