The method of not erring is sought by all the world. The logicians profess to guide it, the geometricians alone attain it, and apart from science, and the imitations of it, there are no
How I hate this folly of not believing in the Eucharist, etc.! If the gospel be true, if Jesus Christ be God, what difficulty is there?
The two principles of truth, reason and senses, are not only both not genuine, but are engaged in mutual deception. The senses deceive reason through false appearances, and the senses are disturbed by passions, which produce false impressions.
Let it not be imagined that the life of a good Christian must be a life of melancholy and gloominess; for he only resigns some pleasures to enjoy others infinitely better.
Man's greatness is great in that he knows himself wretched. A tree does not know itself wretched. It is then being wretched to know oneself wretched; but it is being great to know that one is wretched.
To find recreation in amusement is not happiness.
However vast a man's spiritual resources, he is capable of but one great passion.
I can readily conceive of a man without hands or feet; and I could conceive of him without a head, if experience had not taught me that by this he thinks, Thought then, is the essence of man, and without this we cannot conceive of him.
We never live, but we hope to live; and as we are always arranging to be happy, it must be that we never are so.
Bless yourself with holy water, have Masses said, and so on; by a simple and natural process this will make you believe, and will dull you -- will quiet your proudly critical intellect.
We are not satisfied with real life; we want to live some imaginary life in the eyes of other people and to seem different from what we actually are.
The imagination disposes of everything. It creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are the whole of the world.
There are hardly any truths upon which we always remain agreed, and still fewer objects of pleasure which we do not change every hour, I do not know whether there is a means of giving fixed
rules for adapting discourse to the inconstancy of our caprices.
Our reason is always disappointed by the inconstancy of appearances.
The state of man is inconstancy, ennui, anxiety.
A jester, a bad character.
Not only do we know God through Jesus Christ, we only know ourselves through Jesus Christ.
We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.
May God never abandon me.
We implore the mercy of God, not that He may leave us at peace in our vices, but that He may deliver us from them.
What a vast difference there is between knowing God and loving Him.
It is not certain that everything is uncertain.
La chose la plus importante a' toute la vie est le choix du me tier: le hasard en dispose. The most important thing in life is to choose a profession: chance arranges for that.
The more I see of Mankind, the more I prefer my dog.
Thought constitutes the greatness of man. Man is a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.
The past and present are only our means; the future is always our end. Thus we never really live, but only hope to live.
Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things.
What a chimera then is man. What a novelty! What a monster... what a contradiction, what a prodigy.
The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it.
Reverend Fathers, my letters did not usually follow each other at such close intervals, nor were they so long.... This one would not be so long had I but the leisure to make it shorter.
We never seek things for themselves, but for the search.
Everyone, without exception, is searching for happiness.
There are two kinds of people one can call reasonable: those who serve God with all their heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know him.
Nothing fortifies scepticism more than that there are some who are not sceptics; if all were so, they would be wrong.
I have often said the soul cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in a room.
Imagination magnifies small objects with fantastic exaggeration until they fill our soul, and with bold insolence cuts down great things to its own size, as when speaking of God.
If I believe in God and life after death and you do not, and if there is no God, we both lose when we die. However, if there is a God, you still lose and I gain everything.
Death is easier to bear without thinking of it, than the thought of death without peril.
There are vices which have no hold upon us, but in connection with others; and which, when you cut down the trunk, fall like the branches.
Unless we love the truth we cannot know it.
Christian piety annihilates the egoism of the heart; worldly politeness veils and represses it.
Force rules the world-not opinion; but it is opinion that makes use of force.
For as old age is that period of life most remote from infancy, who does not see that old age in this universal man ought not to be sought in the times nearest his birth, but in those most
remote from it?
Those whom we call ancient were really new in all things, and properly constituted the infancy of mankind.
Cold words freeze people, and hot words scorch them, and bitter words make them bitter, and wrathful words make them wrathful. Kind words also produce their own image on men's souls; and a beautiful image it is. They smooth, and quiet, and comfort the hearer.
Kind words produce their images on men's souls.
The Fall is an offense to human reason, but once accepted, it makes perfect sense of the human condition.
Dull minds are never either intuitive or mathematical.
Everything that is written merely to please the author is worthless.
Man's sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.
I bring you the gift of these four words: I believe in you.
The entire ocean is affected by a single pebble.
All our troubles come from not being able to be alone.
Let no one say that I have said nothing new... the arrangement of the subject is new. When we play tennis, we both play with the same ball, but one of us places it better.
The world is satisfied with words. Few appreciate the things beneath.
Ugly deeds are most estimable when hidden.
It is right that what is just should be obeyed. It is necessary that what is strongest should be obeyed.
The property of power is to protect.
The Jesuits have tried to combine God and the world, and have only earned the contempt of God and the world.
Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other.
Two similar faces, neither of which alone causes laughter, use laughter when they are together, by their resemblance.
How vain painting is, exciting admiration by its resemblance to things of which we do not admire the originals.
We like security: we like the pope to be infallible in matters of faith, and grave doctors to be so in moral questions so that we can feel reassured.
When we read too fast or too slowly, we understand nothing.
Christianity is strange. It bids man recognise that he is vile, even abominable, and bids him desire to be like God. Without such a counterpoise, this dignity would make him horribly vain, or this humiliation would make him terribly abject.
All things can be deadly to us, even the things made to serve us; as in nature walls can kill us, and stairs can kill us, if we do not walk circumspectly.
When everyone is moving towards depravity, no one seems to be moving, but if someone stops he shows up the others who are rushing on, by acting as a fixed point.
Discourses on humility are a source of pride in the vain and of humility in the humble. So those on scepticism cause believers to affirm. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, few doubtingly of scepticism.
Look somewhere else for someone who can follow you in your researches about numbers. For my part, I confess that they are far beyond me, and I am competent only to admire them.
Faith is a sounder guide than reason. Reason can only go so far, but faith has no limits.
The art of subversion, of revolution, is to dislodge established customs by probing down to their origins in order to show how they lack authority and justice.
Amusement allures and deceives us and leads us down imperceptibly in thoughtlessness to the grave.
The gist is that good and evil are foreordained. What is foreordained comes necessarily to be after a prior act of divine volition...Rather, everything small and large is written and comes to be in a known and expected measure.
If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
We feel neither extreme heat nor extreme cold; qualities that are in excess are so much at variance with our feelings that they are impalpable: we do not feel them, though we suffer from their effects.