The first love

“You can’t know how much I loved [them]!”

“Dear sister – all other love is merely a reflection of the heavens in the puddles of a muddy road. You will become sullied too if you allow yourself to sink into it. But if you always remember that it’s a reflection of the light from that other home, then you will rejoice at its beauty and take good care that you do not destroy it by churning up the mire at the bottom…

…You cannot settle for anything less than the love that is between God and the soul.”

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter, pp 151 and 156.

On brooding thoughts

‘Back home Sira Eiliv [the priest] admonished her because she brooded so much over her everyday sins – he said this was the temptation of pride. She should simply be diligent with her prayers and good deeds, and then she wouldn’t have time to dwell on such matters. “The Devil is no fool; he’ll realize that he will lose your soul in the end, and he won’t feel like tempting you as much.”‘

Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Wife

Advice from a monk to a child about fear

“Dragons and all other creatures that serve the Devil only seem big as long as we harbour fear within ourselves. But if a person seeks God with such earnestness and desire that he enters into His power, then the power of the Devil at once suffers such a great defeat that his instruments become small and impotent. Dragons and evil spirits shrink until they are no bigger than goblins and cats and crows.”

From the novel Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (p 34)