100+ Best Brennan Manning Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Richard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning was an American author, laicized priest, and public speaker. He is best known for his bestselling book The Ragamuffin Gospel. Profoundly inspirational Brennan Manning quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

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Famous Brennan Manning Quotes

I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be. Because you’re never going to be as you should be. – Brennan Manning

The way you are with others every day, regardless of their status, is the true test of faith. – Brennan Manning

The beauty of the ragamuffin gospel lies in the insight it offers into Jesus: the essential tenderness of His heart, His way of looking at the world, His mode of relating to you and me. ‘If you really want to understand a man, don’t just listen to what he says, but watch what he does. – Brennan Manning

To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is to stand in need of grace. – Brennan Manning

Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others. – Brennan Manning

Hope knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted. – Brennan Manning

You will trust God to the degree you know you are loved by Him. – Brennan Manning

The forgiveness of God is gratuitous liberation from guilt. Paradoxically, the conviction of personal sinfulness becomes the occasion of encounter with the merciful love of the redeeming God. There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting… (Luke 15:7). In his brokenness, the repentant prodigal knew an intimacy with his father that his sinless, self-righteous brother would never know. – Brennan Manning

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. – Brennan Manning

In my experience, self-hatred is the dominant malaise crippling Christians and stifling their growth in the Holy Spirit. – Brennan Manning

The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all. – Brennan Manning

The trouble with our ideals is that if we live up to all of them, we become impossible to live with. – Brennan Manning

Assured of your salvation by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is the heartbeat of the gospel, joyful liberation from fear of the Final Outcome, a summons to self-acceptance, and freedom for a life of compassion toward others. – Brennan Manning

No man can adequately reach and explain a single word of God with all his words – Brennan Manning

Tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become. – Brennan Manning

The ragamuffin gospel says we can’t lose, because we have nothing to lose. – Brennan Manning

Grace abounds in contemporary movies, books, novels, films and music. If God is not in the whirlwind, He may be in a Woody Allen film, or a Bruce Springsteen concert. Most people understand imagery and symbol better than doctrine and dogma. Images touch hearts and awaken imaginations. One theologian suggested that Springsteen’s ‘Tunnel of Love’ album, in which he symbolically sings of sin, death, despair and redemption, is more important for Catholics than the Pope’s last visit when he spoke of morality only in doctrinal propositions. – Brennan Manning

Jesus says. Acknowledge and accept who I want to be for you: a Savior of boundless compassion, infinite patience, unbearable forgiveness, and love that keeps no score of wrongs. Quit projecting onto Me your own feelings about yourself. At this moment your life is a bruised reed and I will not crush it, a smoldering wick and I will not quench it. You are in a safe place. Brennan Manning. Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging – Brennan Manning

Faithfulness requires the courage to risk everything on Jesus, the willingness to keep growing, and the readiness to risk failure throughout our lives. – Brennan Manning

When a man or woman is truly honest, it is virtually impossible to insult them personally. – Brennan Manning

All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God – Brennan Manning

When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer. – Brennan Manning

When we wallow in guilt, remorse, and shame over real or imagined sins of the past, we are disdaining God’s gift of grace. – Brennan Manning

We are made for Christ, and nothing less will ever satisfy us. – Brennan Manning

To ignore, repress, or dismiss our feelings is to fail to listen to the stirrings of the Spirit within our emotional life. Jesus listened. In John’s Gospel we are told that Jesus was moved with the deepest emotions (11:33)… The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn of reject feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action. – Brennan Manning

Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured. – Brennan Manning

The story goes that a public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church. He took his woes to God. ‘They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.’ ‘What are you complaining about?’ said God. ‘They won’t let Me in either. – Brennan Manning

How glorious the splendor of a human heart that trusts that it is loved! – Brennan Manning

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this but actually they are disdaining God’s crooked but straight path. It is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God. – Brennan Manning

We are not cowed into timidity by death and life. Were we forced to rely on our own shabby resources we would be pitiful people in deed. But the awareness of Christ’s present risenness persuades us that we are buoyed up and carried on by a life greater than our own. – Brennan Manning

Everybody has a vocation to some form of lifework. However, behind that call (and deeper than any call), everybody has a vocation to be a person to be fully and deeply human in Christ Jesus. – Brennan Manning

Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us – Brennan Manning

In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange. – Brennan Manning

The cultural propaganda embodied in two liquor advertisements, Living well is the best revenge and Sip it with arrogance, have a curious, perhaps demonic appeal. Consumerism indeed has its own spirituality. – Brennan Manning

Though it is true that the church must always dissociate itself from sin, it can never have any excuse for keeping any sinner at a distance. – Brennan Manning

Our culture says that ruthless competition is the key to success. Jesus says that ruthless compassion is the purpose of our journey. – Brennan Manning

Charles de Foucauld, the found of the Little Brothers of Jesus, wrote a single sentence that’s ahad a profound impact on my life. He said, the one thing we owe absolutely to God is never to be afraid of anything. Never to be afraid of anything, even death, which, after all, is but that final breakthrough into the open, waiting, outstretched arms of Abba. – Brennan Manning

The North American Church is at a critical juncture. The gospel of grace is being confused and compromised by silence, seduction, and outright subversion. The vitality of the faith is being jeopardized. The lying slogans of the fixers who carry religion like a sword of judgment pile up with impunity. Let ragamuffins everywhere gather as a confessing Church to cry out in protest. Revoke the licenses of religious leaders who falsify the idea of God. Sentence them to three years in solitude with the Bible as their only companion. – Brennan Manning

The kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No, it is for a larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle. – Brennan Manning

Leadership in the church is not entrusted to successful fund raisers, brilliant biblical scholars, administrative geniuses, or spellbinding preachers…but to those who have been laid waste by a consuming passion for Christ – passionate men and women for whom privilege and power are trivial compared to knowing and loving Jesus. – Brennan Manning

We unwittingly project onto God our own attitudes and feelings toward ourselves… But we cannot assume that He feels about us the way we feel about ourselves unless we love ourselves compassionately, intensely, and freely. – Brennan Manning

The only kind of love that helps anyone grow is unconditional love. – Brennan Manning

The ragamuffin gospel reveals that Jesus forgives sins, including the sins of the flesh; that He is comfortable with sinners who remember how to show compassion; but that He cannot and will not have a relationship with pretenders in the Spirit. – Brennan Manning

The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves. The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception. It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us. – Brennan Manning

The gospel will persuade no one unless it has so convicted us that we are transformed by it. – Brennan Manning

And Grace calls out, ‘You are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted.’ Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted. – Brennan Manning

I am deeply distressed by what I only can call in our Christian culture the idolatry of the Scriptures. For many Christians, the Bible is not a pointer to God but God himself… God cannot be confined within the covers of a leather-bound book. I develop a nasty rash around people who speak as if mere scrutiny of its pages will reveal precisely how God thinks and precisely what God wants. – Brennan Manning

Jesus reveals a God who does not demand but who gives; who does not oppress but who raises up; who does not wound but who heals; who does not condemn but forgives. – Brennan Manning

I have been seized by the power of a great affection. – Brennan Manning

How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car. – Brennan Manning

The Good News of the gospel of grace cries out: We are all, equally, privileged but unentitled beggars at the door of God’s mercy! – Brennan Manning

The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi. – Brennan Manning

Without fear I can acknowledge that the authentic Christian tension is not between life and death, but between life and life. – Brennan Manning

The confessing church of American Ragamuffins needs to join Magdalene and Peter in witnessing that Christianity is not primarily a moral code but a grace-laden mystery; it is not essentially a philosophy of love but a love affair; it is not keeping rules with clenched fists but receiving a gift with open hands. – Brennan Manning

God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. – Brennan Manning

God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don’t need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness. – Brennan Manning

Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have been not only forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb. Thus, my friend archbishop Joe Reia says, A sad Christian is a phony Christian, and a guilty Christian is no Christian at all. – Brennan Manning

Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever. – Brennan Manning

The spirituality of wonder knows the world is charged with grace, that while sin and war, disease and death are terribly real, God’s loving presence and power in our midst are even more real. – Brennan Manning

The engaged mind, illuminated by truth, awakens awareness; the engaged heart, affected by love, awakens passion. May I say once more this essential energy of the soul is not an ecstatic trance, high emotion or a sanguine stance toward life: It is a fierce longing for God, an unyielding resolve to live in and out of our belovedness. – Brennan Manning

Trust is that rare and priceless treasure that wins us the affection of our heavenly Father. – Brennan Manning

In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve. – Brennan Manning

Anyone we come in contact with, we either offer them life, or we drain them. – Brennan Manning

The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, not the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The love of Christ embraces all without exception. – Brennan Manning

One of the the loveliest lines I have ever read comes from Brother Roger, the Prior of the Protestant monks of Taize, France: ‘Assured of your salvation by the unique grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ It is still difficult for me to read these words without tears filling my eyes. It is wonderful. – Brennan Manning

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God.This is the true self.Every other identity is illusion.God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth.Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life. – Brennan Manning

The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves. He anguishes over our self-absorption and self-sufficiency… God’s sorrow lies in our refusal to approach Him when we sinned and failed. – Brennan Manning

As we come to grips with our own selfishness and stupidity, we make friends with the impostor and accept that we are impoverished and broken and realize that, if we were not, we would be God. The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others — and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer. – Brennan Manning

I am wonderfully content with a God who does not deal with me as my sins deserve. – Brennan Manning

At Sunday worship, as in every dimension of our existence, many of us pretend to believe we are sinners. Consequently, all we can do is pretend we have been forgiven. As a result, our whole spiritual life is pseudo-repentance and pseudo-bliss. – Brennan Manning

My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. – Brennan Manning

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. – Brennan Manning

The deeper we grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the poorer we become – the more we realize that everything in life is a gift. The tenor of our lives becomes one of humble and joyful thanksgiving. Awareness of our poverty and ineptitude causes us to rejoice in the gift of being called out of darkness into wondrous light and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. – Brennan Manning

The Christian with depth is the person who has failed and who has learned to live with it. – Brennan Manning

Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love. – Brennan Manning

What makes the Kingdom come is heartfelt compassion: a way of tenderness that knows no frontiers, no labels, no compartmentalizing, and no sectarian divisions. – Brennan Manning

There is an extraordinary power in storytelling that stirs the imagination and makes an indelible impression on the mind. – Brennan Manning

That which is denied cannot be healed. – Brennan Manning

Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be. – Brennan Manning

I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would not only climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets; I wouldn’t only jettison my hot water bottle, raincoat, umbrella, parachute, and raft; I would not only go barefoot earlier in the spring and stay out later in the fall; but I would devote not one more minute to monitoring my spiritual growth. No, not one. – Brennan Manning

The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many American churches. For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours, not by right, but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. – Brennan Manning

Genuine self-acceptance is not derived from the power of positive thinking, mind games or pop psychology. IT IS AN ACT OF FAITH in the God of grace. – Brennan Manning

If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own. We listen to people in other denominations and religions. We don’t find demons in those with whom we disagree. We don’t cozy up to people who mouth our jargon. If we are open, we rarely resort to either-or: either creation or evolution, liberty or law, sacred or secular, Beethoven or Madonna. We focus on both-and, fully aware that God’s truth cannot be imprisoned in a small definition. – Brennan Manning

Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and the weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. – Brennan Manning

There is an essential connection between experiencing God, loving God, and trusting God. You will trust God only as much as you love him. And you will love him to the extent you have touched him, rather that he has touched you. – Brennan Manning

In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others. – Brennan Manning

Be daring enough to be different,humble enough to make mistakes,wild enough to be burnt in the fire of love,real enough to make others see how phony you are. – Brennan Manning

The most powerful thing that can happen in the place of prayer is that you yourself become the prayer. You leave the prayer room able as Jesus’ hands and feet on earth. This is what it means to pray continually (without ceasing), to see with the eyes of Jesus and to hear with His ears with every waking moment. – Brennan Manning

Do the truth quietly without display. – Brennan Manning

Lord, when I feel that what I’m doing is insignificant and unimportant, help me to remember that everything I do is significant and important in your eyes, because you love me and you put me here, and no one else can do what I am doing in exactly the way I do it. – Brennan Manning

What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county. Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus. – Brennan Manning

None of us has ever seen a motive. Therefore, we don’t know we can’t do anything more than suspect what inspires the action of another. For this good and valid reason, we’re told not to judge. Tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become. – Brennan Manning

When our inner child is not nurtured and nourished, our minds gradually close to new ideas, unprofitable commitments and the surprises of the Spirit. – Brennan Manning

The Ragamuffin rabble are the unsung assembly of saved sinners who are little in their own sight, conscious of their brokenness and powerlessness before God, and who cast themselves on His mercy. Startled by the extravagant love of God, they do not require success, fame, wealth, or power to validate their worth.Their spirit transcends all distinctions between the powerful and powerless, educated and illiterate, billionaires and bag ladies, high-tech geeks and low-tech nerds, males and females, the circus and the sanctuary. – Brennan Manning

Sin and forgiveness and falling and getting back up and losing the pearl of great price in the couch cushions but then finding it again, and again, and again? Those are the stumbling steps to becoming Real, the only script that’s really worth following in this world or the one that’s coming. – Brennan Manning

Today on planet Earth, may you experience the wonder and beauty of yourself as Abba’s Child and temple of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ – Brennan Manning

This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all. – Brennan Manning

On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars. – Brennan Manning

Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him. – Brennan Manning

In essence, there is only one thing God asks of us that we be men and women of prayer, people for whom God is everything and for whom God is enough. That is the root of peace. We have that peace when the gracious God is all we seek. When we start seeking something besides Him, we lose it. – Brennan Manning

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