Dag Hammarskjöld was Secretary-General of the United Nations from 10 April 1953 until 18 September 1961 when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo. Praise came from around the world for his wisdom, devotion to duty, and his relentless search for peace in a time when nuclear war seemed on the horizon. Shortly after his death, a manuscript was discovered in his apartment and published as Markings. This was a collection of his diary reflections. The book starts in 1925, when he was 20 years old, and ends at his death in 1961. He is commemorated as a peacemaker in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on 18 September of each year.
For all that has been,
For all that is to come,
In the midst of your very active life, make time to reflect and to pray.
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor.
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Quotes from Markings
We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it – according to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed – according to the measure of his purity of heart.
The best and the most wonderful thing that can happen to you in this life is that you should be silent and let God work and speak.
In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.
A landscape can sing about God, a body about Spirit.
Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.
The humility that comes from others having faith in you
I would rather live my life as though there is a God and die to find out that there isn’t, than to live my life as though there is no God and die to find out there is.
In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.
It is not we who seek the Way, but the Way which seeks us. That is why you are faithful to it, even while you stand waiting, so long as you are prepared, and act the moment you are confronted by its demands.