Re-running a few of my favorites this week…
Another quote from Jane’s Evening Prayers today. I love this one, because I think this was clearly her goal for her characters as well, that they would "consider their thoughts, words, and actions."
"May we now, and on each return of night, consider how the past day has been spent by us, what have been our prevailing thoughts, words, and actions during it."
Evening Prayer 1
3 Responses to On each return of night
Thank you for posting these beautiful prayers. This aspect of Jane Austen’s character I did not know.
I think if everybody were to stop and take the time to “consider how the past day has been spent by us” we would become much more in tune with ourselves, more focused on the positive traits that are within us and the good we can do in this world.
I actually embarked on a personal endeavor just last week to really reshape by attitude towards myself and the rest of the world. Through journalling, positive thinking, and changes in my habits I am trying to become a happier, more well-rounded person who is at peace with herself and who strives everyday to truly be her “better self.” Overall I feel like I am making some progress, but today there were some setbacks that had me discouraged. So reading this quote today was truly inspiring and could not have come at a better time.
I think what makes Jane’s characters so powerful is that they are introspective and do grow over time. Characters like Lizzy and Emma and Anne resonate with us because they seem so human. I don’t think they would have this lasting effect on readers if it were not for this quality. They are women to admire and emulate, not because they are perfect, but because they are capable of growth and improvement. Those of us stuck here in the “real world” are all capable of growth and improvement as well, but sometimes it helps to be reminded.
Thank you Lori for sharing this quote.
JaneFan — I agree! I think this is one of the main points of Austen’s books, that her characters were willing to recognize their faults and change — you can’t really talk about Lizzy, Marianne, or Emma especially without this. I think this was really one of the highest goods to Jane, this willingness to understand our true character and change.
I am greatly encouraged as well by the Christian idea of grace, that there is always forgiveness, always hope when we fail (which we all do). Rereading Austen’s books, I’m seeing much of this there as well (though she was loathe to write in-depth about her faith). Like Catherine Morland, when we fail, we have nothing to do but “forgive ourselves and be happier than ever.”
Best wishes on your endeavor!