Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Jean Baptiste Massillon

French Catholic Bishop and Famous Preacher

"Gratitude is the memory of the heart."

"I love a serious preacher, who speaks for my sake and not for his own; who seeks my salvation, and not his own vainglory. He best deserves to be heard who uses speech only to clothe his thoughts, and his thoughts only to promote truth and virtue."

"Slander is perhaps the only vice which no circumstance can palliate, as well as being one which we are most ingenious in concealing form ourselves."

"To be proud and inaccessible is to be timid and weak."

"We die every day; every moment deprives us of a portion of life and advances us a step toward the grave; our whole life is only a long and painful sickness."

"The world? It is a territory under a curse, where even its pleasures carry with them their thorns and their bitterness… A place where hope, regarded as a passion so sweet, renders everybody unhappy; where those who have nothing to hope for, think themselves still more miserable, where all that pleases, pleases never for long; and where ennui is always most the sweetest destiny and the most supportable that one can expect in it."

"Man, during his abode in this world, knows not his own heart. Self-love spreads a veil over his imperfections, and conceals the knowledge of his true state, both from himself and from others. But on this day he shall be seen in his true dress, both by himself and by all mankind. The just man is disregarded and despised in this world: he is subjected in a great measure to the will of the sinner; his life is esteemed folly, and his end without honour. He, likewise, shall be seen in his true light on this day, and shall be honoured before the whole world with that honour to which his merits are entitled."

"In this life we never behold the true state of our interior: our attention is engaged by the few serious sentiments with which we are occasionally animated; and the judgment which we form of ourselves is generally influenced by the last impressions which are made upon our minds."

"Time is short, your obligations are infinite. Are your houses regulated, your children instructed, the afflicted relieved, the poor visited, the work of piety accomplished?"