By a strange mystery — which is connected with the power of the social element — a profession can confer on quite ordinary men in their exercise of it, virtues which, if they were extended to all circumstances of life, would make of them heroes or saints. [p.124]
The contemporary form of true greatness lies in a civilization founded on the spirituality of work.
There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.
Defending the truth is not something one does out of a sense of duty or to allay guilt complexes, but is a reward in itself.
Extreme cases we attach, as well as neuroses and psychoses: we found exaggerated, refined, featuring a striking relief the attitudes and passions of the people we call normal.
The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.
Just as a torrent sweeps along with it unto the depths of the sea whatsoever it encounters on its course, even so, my Jesus, does the soul which plunges into the boundless ocean of Thy Love draw after her all her treasures. Lord, Thou knowest that for me these treasures are the souls it has pleased Thee to unite to mine.
Yes, the figure of this world passeth away, soon shall we see new heavens; a more radiant sun will brighten with its splendors ethereal seas and infinite horizons... We shall no longer be prisoners in a land of exile, all will be at an end and with our Heavenly Spouse we shall sail o'er boundless waters; now our harps are hung upon the willows that border the rivers of Babylon, but in the day of our deliverance what harmonies will then be heard! With what joy shall we not make every chord of our instruments to vibrate! Today, we weep remembering Sion... how shall we sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land?
Many a zero thinks it is the ellipse on which the Earth travels.
There's an inherent limit to the stress that any material can bear. Water has its boiling point, metals their melting points. The elements of the spirit behave the same way. Happiness can reach a pitch so great that any further happiness can't be felt. Pain, despair, humiliation, disgust, and fear are no different. Once the vessel is full, the world can't add to it.
Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen; in the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle, and knew that victory for mankind depended on our bravery, strength, and skill. - When we do that, the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.
I am in this cause with my whole heart and soul. I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country. I am absorbed in the success of that movement.
Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided; but they are far better than certain kinds of peace.
And first Satan's endeavours have ever been, and they cease not yet to instill a belief in the minde of man, There is no God at all. . . . that the necessity of his entity dependeth upon ours, and is but a Politicall Chymera. . . . Where he succeeds not thus high, he labours to introduce a secondary and deductive Atheisme; that although, men concede there is a God, yet . . . that he intendeth only the care of the species or common natures, but letteth loose the guard of individuals, and single existencies therein: That he looks not below the Moon, but hath designed the regiment of sublunary affairs unto inferiour deputations. To promote which apprehensions or empuzzell their due conceptions, he casteth in the notions of fate, destiny, fortune, chance and necessity. . . . Whereby extinguishing in mindes the compensation of vertue and vice, the hope and fear of heaven or hell; they comply in their actions unto the drift of his delusions. . . .
You are so to put forth the power that God has given you; you are so to give, and sacrifice to give, as to earn the eulogium pronounced on the woman, "She hath done what she could." Do it now. It is not a safe thing to leave a generous feeling to the cooling influences of a cold world. If you intend to do a mean thing, wait till tomorrow; if you are to do a noble thing, do it now,--now!
A blaze of love, and extinction, was better than a lantern glimmer of the same which should last long years.
I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it.
No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity … Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius. The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands of martyrs … The Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one, is so incomprehensible to the human mind, that no candid man can say he has any idea of it, and how can he believe what presents no idea? He who thinks he does, only deceives himself. He proves, also, that man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such person, gullibility which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.
Contemplation in the age of Auschwitz and Dachau, Solovky and Karaganda is something darker and more fearsome than contemplation in the age of the Church Fathers. For that very reason, the urge to seek a path of spiritual light can be a subtle temptation to sin. It certainly is sin if it means a frank rejection of the burden of our age, an escape into unreality and spiritual illusion, so as not to share the misery of other men.
In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality. Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.