Madeleine L’Engle Best Quotes 💬

There’s a reason Madeleine L’Engle is loved by many people and the poignancy of her book quotes is certainly a strong attraction for many fans and readers who are just getting to know her.

Madeleine L'Engle

(1918-2007), American

Brought up in a traditional Christian way, the bulk of L’Engle’s literary works were designed to reflect her spirituality, life experiences, and her love for the sciences. This is why you will find her best quotes bordering on these subjects, but are not however limited to those as they go far and beyond. In this article, an effort has been made to analyze some of the greatest quotes from Madeleine L’Engle, author of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’


A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete.

One of the purest things Madeleine L’Engle ever said about individuality and selfhood. From the time of one’s birth, one is presented with the capability of carving out peculiar a identity that agrees with their person. This process is learned through ongoing experiences in life – such as parental upbringing, ethnic, clan, and social cultures, and peer interaction among others. 

These social instruments will at different points in the individual’s life impact them both positively and negatively, and as they mature through life they are going to have to filter out the ones that don’t agree with their inner person or self and then run along with the ones that do – which now becomes their identity. 

This is basically the idea behind L’Engle’s quote that selfhood is not some already-made package slapped on people from when they are little but is something that a person develops through their struggles coming of age and having experienced a vast array of cultures.

Relationship with the divine 

I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally.

Madeleine L’Engle was big on spirituality and never shirked away from expressing her faith-based ideas. An upholding of the Christian religion – despite having unique personal reservations, she often wrote about divinity and the concept of God and how that come to influence humanity. 

Like every Christian, L’Engle believed God is the creator of all things and enabler of sciences, but unlike every Christian who would all go ‘yes sir! yes sir!’ on God, she demanded more, and the above quote just shows how much she asked for.

I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights.

More buttressed here than in the previous excerpt, one finds the mindset behind this quote very clearly. The author was an episcopal Christian who believed that God is all-loving and caring and determined to save the majority of people rather than the few who are gracious to encounter Jesus Christ. That kind of God, she claimed, was the kind that stuck with you through thick and thin.

Finding Home 

We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is.

Home, whether in its literal or metaphorical sense, is not easy to find. In the context of Madeleine L’Engle’s quote, finding a home certainly goes beyond a place or building but in fact, deals more with abstract things such as discovering that mental place where one finds peace and tranquillity – such a place then marks the beginning of a flourishing life.

Just as pointed out in this L’Engle’s quote, finding this home is usually a struggle for most people – and it becomes even unfortunate for some who would lead a lifetime without finding theirs. A home doesn’t feel like one and is never complete until one finds self and rests in a tranquil state of mind where progress begins and happiness is destined.

The Power of One’s Story

Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.

This is one of L’Engle’s quotes that reminds one about the power of one’s story. Everyone has a story and such a story is as important and needs to be heard. 

Our stories aren’t always about victories and triumphs, because the reality is the average person has more sad stories than they have happy ones. But the good thing about sad stories is that they present us with lots of lessons to learn so that we become better people who have better stories tomorrow. 

Through these lines, L’Engle tries to tell us to be proud of our stories, not ashamed of them no matter how sad and disappointing they might be, as such stories are proof that we truly lived. 

On Who Takes the Glory 

If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves.

This quote is a mild criticism of humans from the author. The context is about who takes the credit for our achievements and success stories. 

Madeleine L’Engle, by this statement, asserts that we are hardly responsible for the wins in our lives, and although she doesn’t dispute the fact that our efforts do count and are fundamental to the overall outcome, you are not qualified to take the glory for making that happen. In the excerpt below, she reveals who is responsible for making such things happen.

If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own.

Here she states indirectly that God is to be given the credit for making good things happen to us. She bases this on his preeminent gift of grace and allows us to even be around long enough for such a thing to happen in the first place.

On Being Creative and Inventive

Unless we are creators we are not fully alive.

Just as much as the author thinks your story gives you a voice and makes you alive, being or having a creative mentality is also something she places high up there as a constant if one must feel they really lived, not just merely existing. 

No one is remembered for being a good consumer of people’s products, services, or inventions, but every creator will be remembered for having an impact on the world – long even after they are gone. L’Engle clarifies what she meant by creators in the excerpt below.

“What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words.”

L’Engle call for more creative people is all-inclusive and goes beyond just sculptors and artists molding and drawing ideas to life. Whatever ways one could meaningfully impact society with their ideas, abilities, or skills set in enough creativity for a lifetime. 

Trying is Hoping 

There’s nothing left except to try.

Madeleine L’Engle uses this powerful half-line in her most populous book ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ to rehash the profoundness of hope in our struggles and challenges through life. 

After Charles Wallace is captured by IT, the others regroup outside of Camazotz to explore their chances of saving him but find that this may even be possible. The reality is so bleak that no one, not even Meg, has the strength or idea to be positive. 

That is when Charles’s father Mr Murry makes this statement that even though the future doesn’t look good and their plans are doomed to fail, they must not give up, but must try, because that’s the only way to ignite the possibility that something good might happen.

Quote on Fear

Only a fool is not afraid.

Also from ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ the context of this quote tries to teach the reader that sometimes it is okay to be afraid. While people usually view fear or being afraid as a negative feeling and one which should be avoided by all means, the author wants us to know that it can also be used for positives. 

Fear is our body’s natural way of alerting us to danger. It seeks to protect us. It warns us. And with our life’s struggles, it helps us stay aware. If one’s dreams are not big enough that it scares or makes one afraid, then they are probably not worth it. 


What is a catchy quote from Madeleine L’Engle?

L’Engle has so many exciting and catchy quotes and a good example is this: ‘We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.’

What is L’Engle’s quote about family?

Madeleine L’Engle was a specialist in children’s books and so naturally wrote about young people and their struggle at certain points in their lives – with family playing a pivotal role in the process. The author has a number of good family quotes but this one captures the essence: ‘If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost.’

What L’Engle’s quote is about God or the divine?

The author certainly has several quotes about God or the divine, but here is one that is highly noteworthy and controversial: ‘I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally.’

What is a sage quote from Madeleine L’Engle?

Several of L’Engle’s book characters are known to utter wise expressions – like the three-star sisters in ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ However, this excerpt is just an example of some of the wise sayings in the author’s work: ‘To be alive is to be vulnerable.’

Victor Onuorah
About Victor Onuorah
Victor is as much a prolific writer as he is an avid reader. With a degree in Journalism, he goes around scouring literary storehouses and archives; picking up, dusting the dirt off, and leaving clean even the most crooked pieces of literature all with the skill of analysis.
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