Marcus Aurelius on Grace under Pressure


There is a doom inexorable and a law inviolable, or there is a providence that can be merciful, or else there is a chaos that is purposeless and ungoverned. If a resistless fate, why try to struggle against it? If a providence willing to show mercy, do your best to deserve its divine succor. If a chaos undirected, give thanks that amid such stormy seas you have within you a mind at the helm. If the waters overwhelm you, let them overwhelm flesh, breath, and all else, but they will never make shipwreck of the mind.

Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Drawing by Saul Steinberg: Dragon, Hero and Ball (1968)
Saul Steinberg (1978)