Without diversion we would be in a state of weariness, and this weariness would spur us on to seek a more solid means of escaping from it. But diversion amuses us, and leads us unconsciously to death.
Man finds nothing so intolerable as to be in a state of complete rest, without passions, without occupation, without diversion, without effort. Then he feels his nullity, loneliness, inadequacy, dependence, helplessness, emptiness.
The multitude which is not brought to act as a unity, is confusion. That unity which has not its origin in the multitude is tyranny.
Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ who dwells in thee.
Those who make antitheses by forcing the sense are like men who make false windows for the sake of symmetry. Their rule is not to speak justly, but to make accurate figures.
Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too.
Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.
Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars. I will not forget thy word. Amen.
We sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.
What a strange vanity painting is; it attracts admiration by resembling the original, we do not admire.
He no longer loves the person whom he loved ten years ago. I quite believe it. She is no longer the same, nor is he. He was young, and she also; she is quite different. He would perhaps love her yet, if she were what she was then.
Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish not to know, but to talk. We would not take a sea voyage for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever telling.
The present is never the mark of our designs. We use both past and present as our means and instruments, but the future only as our object and aim.
What reason have atheists for saying that we cannot rise again? That what has never been, should be, or that what has been, should be again? Is it more difficult to come into being than to return to it.
The authority of reason is far more imperious than that of a master; for he who disobeys the one is unhappy, but he who disobeys the other is a fool.
Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is.
By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; by thought I comprehend the world.
Man's true nature being lost, everything becomes his nature; as, his true good being lost, everything becomes his good.
Concupiscence and force are the source of all our actions; concupiscence causes voluntary actions, force involuntary ones.
I can well conceive a man without hands, feet, head. But I cannot conceive man without thought; he would be a stone or a brute.
Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way.
The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.
Through space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like an atom; through thought I comprehend the world.
It is good to be tired and wearied by the futile search after the true good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer.
Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.
We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves.
We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
We know the truth not only through our reason but also through our heart. It is through the latter that we know first principles, and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to refute them.
Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.
I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole?
Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness... and so frivolous is he that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient enough to amuse him.
Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.
Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite variety.
Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite variety; good is almost unique. But some kinds of evil are almost as difficult to discover as that which we call good; and often particular evil of this class passes for good. It needs even a certain greatness of soul to attain to this, as to that which is good.
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
We view things not only from different sides, but with different eyes; we have no wish to find them alike.
Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
Eloquence is a painting of thought; and thus those who, after having painted it, add something more, make a picture instead of a portrait.
The consciousness of the falsity of present pleasures, and the ignorance of the vanity of absent pleasures, cause inconstancy.
The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.
The strength of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.
When we see a natural style, we are astonished and charmed; for we expected to see an author, and we find a person.
In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present, and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious.
Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?