Leo Tolstoy
· The Circle of Reading
Translated by Dmitry Fadeyev

January 8

Christian teaching is so clear that even young children understand its true meaning. Only the people who want to appear as and be known as Christians, but without being so in reality, cannot understand it.


Buddha said: the one who begins living for the soul is like one who brings light into a dark house. At once the darkness dissipates. Persist in living such a life, and you will experience complete enlightenment.


The people (I am speaking of those who are good, those who have not been touched by the corruption originating from the ruling classes), freed from that which Christ calls the blindness of wealth, satisfied with their daily bread, who ask the Heavenly Father only for that which he gives to the small birds that do not sow and do not reap—the people lead the true life, the life of the heart, unlike those who are immersed in the desires and cares of the world. This is why it is here, in the people, that we must look for heroic deeds and self-sacrifice. Take away the people, and what will happen to the covenants of duty, to the only thing that holds society together, to that which constitutes the greatness and power of a nation? As nations grow weak, who shall renew and rejuvenate them if not the common people? And if the disease is incurable, if it is necessary that a nation should perish, where would the young sapling destined to replace the old tree come from if not from the people? And that is why Christ addresses the people, and that is why the people recognize in Him the messenger of the Father, why they praise his name, why they proclaim his power as they submit to it. The princes of the church, the scribes, curse him and kill him. But, despite their violence and tricks, despite the execution, Christ has triumphed in the people, the people have established his kingdom in the world, the people will spread it, and through the people a new life will be born, whose divine embryo the powers of violence, already filled with the horror of their imminent end, would very much like to strangle.

— Lamennais


We must beware of two equally harmful superstitions: the superstition of theology, which teaches that the essence of the Deity can be expressed in words, and the superstition of science, which supposes that divine power can be explained by scientific research.

— John Ruskin


Christ’s last commandment expresses the entirety of his teaching: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” He does not say: “if you believe this or that,” but “if you have love for one another.” Belief changes along with the ceaseless changes in opinions and knowledge; it is tied to time and changes with time. Love is timeless, it is immutable, eternal.


My religion is the love for all living things.

— Ibrahim Kardovsky

The only thing lacking for the realization of Christianity is the destruction of its corruption.