And all that we quarrel about.


And when we give each other Christmas gifts in his name, let us remember that he has given us the sun and the moon and the stars and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans — and all that lives and moves upon them. He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit — and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused — and to save us from our own foolishness, for all our sins, he came down to earth and gave us himself.

— Sigrid Undset

15 thoughts on “And all that we quarrel about.

  1. What a beautiful quotation. You do have such a talent for finding just the right words. Is this from one of the Kristin Lavransdatter volumes, or from another source? I’ve never been one to advocate the elimination of Christmas gifts. Gifts incarnate memories, and help them to stay, just as the Incarnation helps us to remember the giver of all gifts.


    1. I’m certain it’s not from Kristin. I found it on a FB page 🙂 I agree about presents; this year I was self-consciously and happily anticipating the gift-opening event, and the gifts, and I enjoyed the shopping for gifts. It all seems to be part of the satisfaction of carrying on traditions which, as you say, have their roots in theology.


  2. Partially, this quote seems like a powerful take on Psalm 148, and on Psalm 150:6, “Let all that hath breath praise the Lord.” All of creation praises Him, and “all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12). How can we not give back to Him, since all we have are gifts from Him?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Since I’ve only been singing hymns since 1999 I am still learning the words of the 3rd and 4th stanzas. This Christmas I spent time listening to and studying “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”. The 4th:

    O come, Desire of nations bind, In one the hearts of all mankind; Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel! Amen

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That is an important thought. And it goes along with your comment about the gifts. It helps me begin to realize that it isn’t necessarily a good thing that I wouldn’t care if the gift part of it didn’t happen. I love Christmas and gifts always seem to mess it up, get in the way. But that is ridiculous, isn’t it? Selfish, isn’t it? Suddenly I’m seeing it differently. Your fault! 😀 Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow…and he gives us words ( some such as Ms. Undset spill forth more than others) and appreciative hearts and minds for all this glory. Lovely quote…I appreciate this author now that I have recently read two of her works.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a surprising thought, “all that we quarrel about” as a gift. As one friend above said, it changes your view of life. Thanks for this news, Gretchen; this strangely good news: God in our life, no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rather late I noticed a disagreement in verb tense in the last line and figured out that it was a misquote or typo by someone along the way… so I’ve fixed it! I feel bad when I mistakenly pass on what appears to be sloppiness or neglect on the part of the author or translator, but is actually an indication of my own haste and lack of carefulness.

    The quote comes from a book titled Christmas and Twelfth Night, about which “Kirkus Review” says, “A reissue of a Christmas essay, an adoration of the Nativity, written with tenderness and reverence. A lovely little Christmas gift for Catholics or the devout.”


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