Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle.
The human soul is hospitable, and will entertain conflicting sentiments and contradictory opinions with much impartiality.
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.
When the soul grants what reason makes her see, that is true faith, what’s more’s credulity.
Simplicity is that grace which frees the soul from all unnecessary reflections upon itself.
Simplicity is the straightforwardness of a soul which refuses itself any reaction with regard to itself or its deeds. This virtue differs from and surpasses sincerity. We see many people who are sincere without being simple. They do not wish to be taken for other than what they are; but they are always fearing lest they should be taken for what they are not.
What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it. A person indolent by nature or dulled and distorted by mental servitude, learned luxury, and vanity will never raise himself to the level of idealism.
A strenuous soul hates cheap success.
Man is his own star, and that soul that can be honest, is the only perfect man.
The saddest thing under the sky is a soul incapable of sadness.
Charity that is both the means and the end, the only way by which we can reach that perfection which is, after all, but Charity itself... Just as the soul is the life of the body, so charity is the life of the soul.
I am fully convinced that the soul is indestructible, and that its activity will continue through eternity. It is like the sun, which, to our eyes, seems to set at night; but it has in reality only gone to diffuse its light elsewhere.
Real wealth is the soul in repose.
It is the still voice that the soul heeds; not the deafening blasts of doom.
Certain thoughts are prayers. There are certain moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.
Self-knowledge leading to self-hatred and humility, is the condition of the love and knowledge of God. Spiritual exercises that make use of distractions have this great merit, that they increase self-knowledge. Every soul that approaches God must be aware of who and what it is. To practice a form of mental or vocal prayer that is, so to speak, above one’s moral station is to act a lie: and the consequences of such lying are wrong notions about God, idolatrous worship of private and unrealistic phantasies and (for lack of the humility of self-knowledge) spiritual pride.
The beatitude into which the enlightened soul is delivered is something quite different from pleasure... Blessedness depends on non-attachment and selflessness, therefore can be enjoyed without satiety and without revulsion; is a participation in eternity, and therefore remains itself without diminution or fluctuation.
The present moment is the only aperture through which the soul can pass out of time into eternity, through which grace can pass out of eternity into the soul, and through which charity can pass from one soul in time to another soul in time.
The only thing of value in a man is the soul. That is why it is the soul that is given everlasting life, either in the Land of the Sky or in the Underworld. The soul is man’s greatest power; it is the soul that makes us human, but how it does so we do not know. Our flesh and blood, our body, is nothing but an envelope about our vital power.
Humility collects the soul into a single point by the power of silence. A truly humble man has no desire to be known or admired by others, but wishes to plunge from himself into himself, to become nothing, as if he had never been born. When he is completely hidden to himself in himself, he is completely with God.