discernment

To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion: a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.

A great deal may be done by severity, more by love, but most by clear discernment and impartial justice.

Look around this universe. What an immense profusion of beings, animated and organized, sensible and active! You admire this prodigious variety and fecundity. But inspect a little more narrowly these living existences, the only beings worth regarding. How hostile and destructive to each other! How insufficient all of them for their own happiness! How contemptible or odious to the spectator! The whole presents nothing but the idea of a blind nature, impregnated by a great vivifying principle, and pouring forth from her lap, without discernment or parental care, her maimed and abortive children.

Never speak by superlatives; for in so doing you will be likely to wound either truth or prudence. Exaggeration is neither thoughtful, wise, nor safe. It is a proof of the weakness of the understanding, or the want of discernment of him that utters it, so that even when he speaks the truth, he soon finds it is received with partial, or even utter disbelief.

Wealth is nothing in itself; it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase. As to corporeal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues of pleasure, nor block up the passages of anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment or elevate the imagination, but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error and harden stupidity.

We, undisciplined in discernment of the inward, knowing nothing of it, run after the outer, never understanding that it is the inner which stirs us; we are [like] one who sees his own reflection but not realizing whence it comes goes in pursuit of it.

The great religions of the world unanimously affirm Transcendence as the goal of the human quest. It is a journey that begins with ordinary knowledge, but when it is seriously pursued it crests in “an intuitive awareness of things, a discernment of the way things are.”

Wisdom consists in the highest use of the intellect for the discernment of the largest moral interest of humanity. It is the most perfect willingness to do the right combined with the utmost attainable knowledge of what is right… Wisdom consists in working for the better from the love of the best.

The fundamental qualities for good execution of a plan is first; intelligence; then discernment and judgment, which enable one to recognize the best method as to attain it; the singleness of purpose; and, lastly, what is most essential of all, will-stubborn will.

The great religions of the world unanimously affirm Transcendence as the goal of the human quest. It is a journey that begins with ordinary knowledge, but when it is seriously pursued it crests in “an intuitive awareness of things, a discernment of the way things are.

He who reads with discernment and choice will acquire less learning, but more knowledge; and as this knowledge is collected with design, and cultivated with art and method, it will be at all times of immediate and ready use to himself and others

Living in the present moment requires discretion toward memory. Without memory we’d have amnesia. What good would there be in that? Offer discretion and discernment for our past with a broad spectrum of forgiveness. As for our present moment, delight. And dedication to remain fully present to all the possibility

We see that God has implanted in all things a natural desire to exist with the fullest measure of existence that is compatible with their particular nature. To this end they are endowed with suitable faculties and activities; and by means of these there is in them a discernment that is natural and in keeping with the purpose of their knowledge, which ensures their natural inclination serving its purpose and being able to reach its fulfilment in that object towards which it is attracted by the weight of its own nature.

Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah used to say: “Where there is no Torah there is no culture; and where there is no culture there is no Torah. Where there is no wisdom there is no fear of G-d, and where there is no fear of G-d there is no wisdom. Where there is no knowledge there is no discernment; and where there is no discernment there is no knowledge. Where there is no food there is no Torah; and where there is no Torah there is no food. He used to say: He whose wisdom is more abundant than his works, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are abundant but whose roots are few; and the wind comes and uproots it and overturns it, as it is written (Jeremiah 17:6) "They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land." But he whose works are more abundant than his wisdom, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many; so that even if all the winds in the world come and blow against it, it cannot be stirred from its place, as it is written (Jeremiah 17:8) "They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit."

Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah used to say: “Where there is no Torah there is no culture; and where there is no culture there is no Torah. Where there is no wisdom there is no fear of G-d, and where there is no fear of G-d there is no wisdom. Where there is no knowledge there is no discernment; and where there is no discernment there is no knowledge. Where there is no food there is no Torah; and where there is no Torah there is no food. He used to say: He whose wisdom is more abundant than his works, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are abundant but whose roots are few; and the wind comes and uproots it and overturns it, as it is written (Jeremiah 17:6) "They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land." But he whose works are more abundant than his wisdom, to what is he like? To a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are many; so that even if all the winds in the world come and blow against it, it cannot be stirred from its place, as it is written (Jeremiah 17:8) "They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit."

We, undisciplined in discernment of the inward, knowing nothing of it, run after the outer, never understanding that it is the inner which stirs us; we are [like] one who sees his own reflection but not realizing whence it comes goes in pursuit of it.

If the notion of formal cause is obsolete, then the affi rmation that is based on this
notion is also obsolete. If one must “give up” this notion, it is necessary, whether one
wants to or not, to give up as well this assertion, just as we gave up the astronomical
hypothesis of Ptolemy that wasn’t a true conception, conformed to reality, but merely
a practical representation that gave a provisional classifi cation to the phenomena that
had been observed up to that time. To give up the notion of formal cause, or of what constitutes a thing formally, would
be to give up the notion of essence and the fi rst principles that suppose this notion. It
would be to fall into relativism, and the teaching Church herself would fall into it, if it
wanted to follow this road which her discernment stops her from taking

Awesome is the man who conceals the greatness of his labor by self-reproach; at such a man the angels marvel.

I always have for you the highest esteem and regard.

The first object of human association [is] the full improvement of their condition.