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24 Best Frederick Buechner Quotes To Honor His Life

Quote From Frederick Buechner: Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.

Frederick Buechner, an ordained Presbyterian minister and prolific writer whose work explored the intersection of faith and secular life, died on Monday, August 15th at his home in Vermont. He was 96.

A Pulitzer Prize nominee, Buechner was the author of more than 40 books, including novels, memoirs, collections of essays and sermons, and works of theology. His writing was often compared to that of Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and other Southern writers who dealt with religious themes.

But Mr. Buechner's work was also notable for its humor and appeal to a wide range of readers, both religious and secular, progressive and conservative.

His most famous quotes speaks to how each of us can find our own vocation by understanding where our joy and talents intersect with the world’s needs.

(Buechner seems to have written and spoken dozens of versions of this quote over the course of his life, and we’ve included his most famous version, and a few unique versions of the iconic quote.)

Whether you are a person of faith, or not, may these words remind you of your power to make a meaningful difference with your life — through your vocation, in the lives of your neighbors, and in working for the joy and freedom of all.

Explore these spiritual and purposeful quotes from Frederick Buechner —

Frederick Buechner’s Famous Quotes

“Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” — Frederick Buechner

“Where your feet take you, that is who you are.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Where your feet take you, that is who you are.” — Frederick Buechner

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid.” — Frederick Buechner

On Grace

“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day's chalking.”
— Frederick Buechner

“If you want to talk about grace, if you want to talk about revelation, talk about your life with some depth, which doesn't mean lurid revelations as much as simply looking at your own deep experiences and describing them as they are.”
— Frederick Buechner

On God

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and they are doing God's will.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Wherever people love each other and are true to each other and take risks for each other, God is with them and they are doing God's will.” — Frederick Buechner

“The world says, the more you take, the more you have. Christ says, the more you give, the more you are.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Coincidences are God's way of getting our attention.”
― Frederick Buechner

“The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. If you really get a kick out of your work, you've presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing TV deodorant commercials, the chances are you've missed requirement (b). On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you're bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren't helping your patients much either.”
— Frederick Buechner

On Love

“Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me.” — Frederick Buechner

“... In the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all.”
— Frederick Buechner

“If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.”
— Frederick Buechner

Short Quotes

“To be wise is to be eternally curious.”
— Frederick Buechner

“To be wise is to be eternally curious.” — Frederick Buechner

“Go where your best prayers take you.”
— Frederick Buechner

“If you want to be holy, be kind.”
— Frederick Buechner

“If you want to be holy, be kind.” — Frederick Buechner

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Remember me not for the ill I've done but for the good I've dreamed.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Remember me not for the ill I've done but for the good I've dreamed.” — Frederick Buechner

Read more short quotes

More Quotes

“In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another day just like today, and there will never be another just like it again. Today is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious today is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.”
— Frederick Buechner

“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are... because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier... for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own...”
— Frederick Buechner

“Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is better than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all.”
— Frederick Buechner

“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”
— Frederick Buechner

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
— Frederick Buechner

“When you remember me, it means you have carried something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can summon me back to your mind even though countless years and miles may stand between us. It means that if we meet again, you will know me. It means that even after I die, you can still see my face and hear my voice and speak to me in your heart.”
— Frederick Buechner

“For as long as you remember me, I am never entirely lost.”
— Frederick Buechner

Article Details

August 15, 2022 5:13 PM
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