„I agree as to the doubtful value of competitive examination. The qualities which you really want, viz., self-control, self-reliance, habits of accurate thought, integrity and what you generally call trustworthiness, are not decided by competitive examination, which test little else than the memory.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Quelle: Letter to Lord Stanley (May 17, 1857), published in Florence Nightingale on Wars and the War Office: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. Vol. 15 (2011), edited by Lynn McDonald, p. 265. ( online on google books https://books.google.at/books?id=NvJ0CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA265)

„In it and in the other prayers of the Mystics there is scarcely a petition. There is never a word of the theory that God's dealings with us are to show His "power"; still less of the theory that "of His own good pleasure" He has " predestined" any souls to eternal damnation.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages (1873-1874)
Kontext: These old Mystics whom we call superstitious were far before us in their ideas of God and of prayer (that is of our communion with God). "Prayer," says a mystic of the 16th century, "is to ask not what we wish of God, but what God wishes of us." "Master who hast made and formed the vessel of the body of Thy creature, and hast put within so great a treasure, the Soul, which bears the image of Thee": so begins a dying prayer of the 14th century. In it and in the other prayers of the Mystics there is scarcely a petition. There is never a word of the theory that God's dealings with us are to show His "power"; still less of the theory that "of His own good pleasure" He has " predestined" any souls to eternal damnation. There is little mention of heaven for self; of desire of happiness for self, none. It is singular how little mention there is either of "intercession " or of " Atonement by Another's merits." True it is that we can only create a heaven for ourselves and others "by the merits of Another," since it is only by working in accordance with God's Laws that we can do anything. But there is nothing at all in these prayers as if God's anger had to be bought off, as if He had to be bribed into giving us heaven by sufferings merely "to satisfy God's justice." In the dying prayers, there is nothing of the "egotism of death." It is the reformation of God's church—that is, God's children, for whom the self would give itself, that occupies the dying thoughts. There is not often a desire to be released from trouble and suffering. On the contrary, there is often a desire to suffer the greatest suffering, and to offer the greatest offering, with even greater pain, if so any work can be done. And still, this, and all, is ascribed to God's goodness. The offering is not to buy anything by suffering, but — If only the suppliant can do anything for God's children!
These suppliants did not live to see the " reformation" of God's children. No more will any who now offer these prayers. But at least we can all work towards such practical " reformation." The way to live with God is to live with Ideas — not merely to think about ideals, but to do and suffer for them. Those who have to work on men and women must above all things have their Spiritual Ideal, their purpose, ever present. The "mystical " state is the essence of common sense.

„I use the word nursing for want of a better.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Notes on Nursing (1860)
Kontext: I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet — all at the least expense of vital power to the patient.

„Give us back our suffering, we cry to Heaven in our hearts — suffering rather than indifferentism; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. Better have pain than paralysis!“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: Give us back our suffering, we cry to Heaven in our hearts — suffering rather than indifferentism; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. Better have pain than paralysis! A hundred struggle and drown in the breakers. One discovers the new world. But rather, ten times rather, die in the surf, heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore!

„There is a physical, not moral, impossibility of supplying the wants of the intellect in the state of civilisation at which we have arrived.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: There is a physical, not moral, impossibility of supplying the wants of the intellect in the state of civilisation at which we have arrived. The stimulus, the training, the time, are all three wanting to us; or, in other words, the means and inducements are not there.
Look at the poor lives we lead. It is a wonder that we are so good as we are, not that we are so bad. In looking round we are struck with the power of the organisations we see, not with their want of power. Now and then, it is true, we are conscious that there is an inferior organisation, but, in general, just the contrary.

„The great reformers of the world turn into the great misanthropists, if circumstances or organisation do not permit them to act.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: The great reformers of the world turn into the great misanthropists, if circumstances or organisation do not permit them to act. Christ, if He had been a woman, might have been nothing but a great complainer. Peace be with the misanthropists! They have made a step in progress; the next will make them great philanthropists; they are divided but by a line.
The next Christ will perhaps be a female Christ. But do we see one woman who looks like a female Christ? or even like "the messenger before" her "face", to go before her and prepare the hearts and minds for her?
To this will be answered that half the inmates of Bedlam begin in this way, by fancying that they are "the Christ."
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.

„Where shall I find God? In myself. That is the true Mystical Doctrine. But then I myself must be in a state for Him to come and dwell in me. This is the whole aim of the Mystical Life; and all Mystical Rules in all times and countries have been laid down for putting the soul into such a state.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages (1873-1874)
Kontext: Where shall I find God? In myself. That is the true Mystical Doctrine. But then I myself must be in a state for Him to come and dwell in me. This is the whole aim of the Mystical Life; and all Mystical Rules in all times and countries have been laid down for putting the soul into such a state.
That the soul herself should be heaven, that our Father which is in heaven should dwell in her, that there is something within us infinitely more estimable than often comes out, that God enlarges this "palace of our soul" by degrees so as to enable her to receive Himself, that thus he gives her liberty but that the soul must give herself up absolutely to Him for Him to do this, the incalculable benefit of this occasional but frequent intercourse with the Perfect: this is the conclusion and sum of the whole matter, put into beautiful language by the Mystics. And of this process they describe the steps, and assign periods of months and years during which the steps, they say, are commonly made by those who make them at all.

„Look at the poverty of our life! Can we expect anything else but poor creatures to come out of it?“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: The "dreams of youth" have become a proverb. That organisations, early rich, fall far short of their promise has been repeated to satiety. But is it extraordinary that it should be so? For do we ever utilise this heroism? Look how it lives upon itself and perishes for lack of food. We do not know what to do with it. We had rather that it should not be there. Often we laugh at it. Always we find it troublesome. Look at the poverty of our life! Can we expect anything else but poor creatures to come out of it?

„It is very well to say "be prudent, be careful, try to know each other." But how are you to know each other?“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: It is very well to say "be prudent, be careful, try to know each other." But how are you to know each other?
Unless a woman had lost all pride, how is it possible for her, under the eyes of all her family, to indulge in long exclusive conversations with a man? "Such a thing" must not take place till after her "engagement." And how is she to make an engagement, if "such a thing" has not taken place?

„Our business is, I think, to understand, not to judge.“

—  Florence Nightingale

As quoted in Florence Nightingale's Theology: Collected Works of Florence Nightingale (2002) by Lynn McDonald, pps. 177-179 (Add Mss 45783 ff65-67)
Kontext: Perhaps it is not true to speak of God as a judge at all, or of his judgements. There does not seem to be really any evidence that His worlds are places of trial but rather schools, place of training, or that He is a judge but rather a Teacher, a Trainer, not in the imperfect sense in which men are teachers, but in the sense of His contriving and adapting His whole universe for one purpose of training every intelligent being to be perfect. … I think God would not be the Almighty, the All-Wise, the All-Good, if he were the judge, in the sense that the evangelical and Roman Catholic Christians impute judgement to him. … Our business is, I think, to understand, not to judge. What He does, as far as we know, to rule by law down to the most infinitesimally small portion of His universe, not to judge.

„Law is the continuous manifestation of God's presence — not reason for believing him absent.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Suggestions for Thought : Selections and Commentaries (1994), edited by Michael D. Calabria and Janet A. MacRae, p. 41
Kontext: Law is the continuous manifestation of God's presence — not reason for believing him absent.
Great confusion arises from our using the same word law in two totally distinct senses … as the cause and the effect. It is said that to "explain away" everything by law is to enable us to do without God.
But law is no explanation of anything; law is simply a generalization, a category of facts. Law is neither a cause, nor a reason, nor a power, nor a coercive force. It is nothing but a general formula, a statistical table. Law brings us continually back to God instead of carrying us away from him.

„Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God — to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages (1873-1874)
Kontext: Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God — to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness. When we ask ourselves only what is right, or what is the will of God (the same question), then we may truly be said to live in His light.

„What is Mysticism? Is it not the attempt to draw near to God, not by rites or ceremonies, but by inward disposition?“

—  Florence Nightingale

Notes from Devotional Authors of the Middle Ages (1873-1874)
Kontext: What is Mysticism? Is it not the attempt to draw near to God, not by rites or ceremonies, but by inward disposition? Is it not merely a hard word for " The Kingdom of Heaven is within"? Heaven is neither a place nor a time. There might be a Heaven not only here but now. It is true that sometimes we must sacrifice not only health of body, but health of mind (or, peace) in the interest of God; that is, we must sacrifice Heaven. But "thou shalt be like God for thou shalt see Him as He is": this may be here and now, as well as there and then. And it may be for a time — then lost — then recovered — both here and there, both now and then.

„When shall we see a life full of steady enthusiasm, walking straight to its aim, flying home, as that bird is now, against the wind — with the calmness and the confidence of one who knows the laws of God and can apply them?“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: Society triumphs over many. They wish to regenerate the world with their institutions, with their moral philosophy, with their love. Then they sink to living from breakfast till dinner, from dinner till tea, with a little worsted work, and to looking forward to nothing but bed.
When shall we see a life full of steady enthusiasm, walking straight to its aim, flying home, as that bird is now, against the wind — with the calmness and the confidence of one who knows the laws of God and can apply them?

„People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.“

—  Florence Nightingale

Cassandra (1860)
Kontext: The great reformers of the world turn into the great misanthropists, if circumstances or organisation do not permit them to act. Christ, if He had been a woman, might have been nothing but a great complainer. Peace be with the misanthropists! They have made a step in progress; the next will make them great philanthropists; they are divided but by a line.
The next Christ will perhaps be a female Christ. But do we see one woman who looks like a female Christ? or even like "the messenger before" her "face", to go before her and prepare the hearts and minds for her?
To this will be answered that half the inmates of Bedlam begin in this way, by fancying that they are "the Christ."
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.

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