Surely no sane and thoughtful person can imagine any government of our time sitting comfortably at the feet of Jesus while he is saying “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.”

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace: Christianity and the Survival of Creation p. 319

Because (modern Christianity) has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into Heaven, it has been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire. It has assumed with the economist that “economic forces” automatically work for the good and has assumed with the industrialists and militarists that technology determines history. It has assumed with almost everybody that “progress” is good, that it is good to be modern and up with the times. It has admired Caeser and comforted him in his depredations and defaults. But in its de facto alliance with Caeser, Christianity connives directly in the murder of Creation.

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace: Christianity and the Survival of Creation p.319

Good human work honors God’s work. Good work uses no thing without respect, both for what it is in itself and for its origin. It uses neither tool nor material that it does not respect and that it does not love. It honors nature as a great mystery and power, as an indispensable teacher, and as the inescapable judge of all work of human hands. It does not dissociate life and work, or pleasure and work, or love and work, or usefulness and beauty. To work without pleasure or affection, to make a product that is not both useful and beautiful, is to dishonor God, nature, the thing that is made, and whomever it is made for. This is blasphemy: to make shoddy work of the work of God.

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace: Christianity and the Survival of Creation p.312

Heroic works are meant to be (among other things) instructive and inspiring to ordinary people in ordinary life, and they are, grandly and deeply so. But there are two issues that they are prohibited by their nature from raising: the issue of lifelong devotion and perseverance in unheroic tasks, and the issue of good workmanship or “right livelihood.”

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace: The Gift of Good Land p.300

The drama of ordinary or daily behavior also raises the issue of courage, but it raises at the same time the issue of skill; and, because ordinary behavior lasts so much longer than heroic action, it raises in a more complex and difficult way the issue of perseverance. It may, in some ways, be easier to be a Samson than to be a good husband or wife day after day for fifty years.

– Wendell Berry in The Art of the Commonplace: The Gift of Good Land p.300