Malcolm Muggeridge

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Conversion: A Spiritual Journey

London: Collins, 1988.

God, humble my pride,
extinguish the last stirrings of my ego,
obliterate whatever remains of worldly ambition and carnality,
and in these last days of my mortal existence,
help me to serve only Thy purposes,
to speak and to write only Thy words,
to think only Thy thoughts,
to have no other prayer than "Thy will be done."


"Genetic failures are heavenly messengers, with a special role in the world to make outward and visible the physical and mental distortions which we all have inwardly and invisibly" (11).

After making the decision to convert to Catholicism, he felt "a sense of homecoming, of picking up the threads of a lost life, of responding to a bell that had long been ringing, of taking a place at a table that had long been vacant" (13).

John Henry Newman: "The sinner would not enjoy heaven if he went there; not till he has turned from his sin and is once more looking towards God" (32).

"When one of the Soviet astronauts proudly announced that in the stratosphere he had found no trace of Heaven, he was, had he but known it, supporting, not denying, Heaven's existence; a trace of Heaven on his radar-screen would have undermined belief in it for years to come" (34).

"Human love [is] the nearest image vouchsafed us of God's love irradiating the whole universe" (41).

"Though sojourners in Time, Eternity is our true habitat" (45).

Bishop of Barcelona (Rurita): "You are the ministers of a King who cannot abdicate because He is not enthroned by the votes of men. Men did not place the crown on His head, men will not take it off. Everything falls after a time — thrones collapse, royal crowns roll in the mud. Alone the Kingdom of Christ remains standing ... because it is guaranteed by the word of God."

Simone Weil: "Every time a human being succeeds in making an effort of attention with the sole idea of increasing his grasp of truth, he acquires a greater aptitude for grasping it even if his efforts produce no visible fruit. ... Studies are nearer to God because of the attention which is their soul" (51).

Jean-Pierre de Caussade:

"The best of all for the soul is what God wills at this particular moment, and all else must be regarded by the soul with perfect indifference as being nothing at all" (53).
"Finding in everything only deception and nothingness, the soul is constrained to have recourse to God Himself and be content with Him" (54).

"Happiness that comes upon us ... is as different from happiness sought or bought as is synthetic perfume from the fragrance of spring flowers. ... True happiness ... lies in forgetfulness, not indulgence, of the self; in escape from carnal appetites, not in their satisfaction" (55).