Circumspection

Politeness is a mixture of discretion, civility, complaisance and circumspection spread over all we do and say.

Politeness is a mixture of discretion, civility, complaisance, and circumspection spread over all we do and say.

You should not be surprised if you sometimes feel impatient hearing confessions, and vain in your sermons and in your studies. You are a man and, consequently, a sinner. . . . There is a difference between the act, the consent, and the temptation, and you are mistaking one for the other. If you are tempted to pride in your sermons, you do not, however, preach for this reason. When you are inclined to impatience in the confessional, even if, by chance, you consent to it in some way, it does not follow that you act on it. As for eating, have no scruple about the desires this stimulates in you, nor think you are going to excess in that regard; I have been informed of the contrary. Speaking of that, I ask you to eat better than you have been doing.

A man's silence is wonderful to listen to. Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.

A free man, is he, that in those things, which by his strength and wit he is able to do, is not hindered to do what he has a will to.

To say writing is artificial is not to condemn it but to praise it. Like other artificial creations and indeed more than any other, it is utterly invaluable and indeed essential for the realization of fuller, interior, human potentials. Technologies are not mere exterior aids but also interior transformations of consciousness, and never more than when they affect the word. Such transformations can be uplifting. Writing heightens consciousness. Alienation from a natural milieu can be good for us and indeed is in many ways essential for full human life. To live and to understand fully, we need not only proximity but also distance. This writing provides for consciousness as nothing else does.

It is for the sake of man, not of God, that worship and prayers are required; that man may be made better - that he may be confirmed in a proper sense of his dependent state, and acquire those pious and virtuous dispositions in which his highest improvement consists.