Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Vincent McNabb

Irish Scholar, Priest, Evangelist and Apologetic

"Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them."

"Inspiration presupposes revelation. Inspiration may be called the guardian of revelation."

"All thinking is not prayer. But thinking can be prayer, just as walking and talking and washing the floor can be prayer."

"Beauty is the radiance of truth, and the fragrance of goodness. "

"Sometimes it is a great joy just to listen to someone we love talking. "

"What great delight it is to see the ones we love and then to have speech with them."

"Even Catholics have sometimes come to think that the three virtues behind these religious vows were only for religious, whereas the three virtues are binding upon all individuals, and in some measure, upon that grouping of individuals... which we moderns...confusedly call the State."

"Blessed are the poor! Few things have ever touched me more than that. Out of his poverty he offered me my fare. Imagine that coming from one who has not the faith. What am I to do when I see him next? To kiss his feet would be unworthy of him. I shall pray... that God may give him the consolation of the faith."

"All our personal and social building, to be lasting, must be trued by the measures of that little school of seers whose names are the very music of life."

"Every minister of holy religion must bring to the struggle the full energy of his mind and all his powers of endurance."

"From this observed fact that the industrialized town is an occasion of sin we conclude that, as occasions of sin must be fled... Flight from the Land must be now be countered by Flight to the Land."

"It need hardly be pointed out that the poverty of work and thrift, the self-control of virginal and conjugal chastity, the obedience to rulers and to law, are of the greatest social value and need."

"Some people say, I do not like sermons . I never go to hear a sermon. They do not know that these very words are themselves a sermon. They do not realise that every deed done in the sight or hearing of another is a preached sermon. The best or the worst of all sermons is a life led. God made every man and woman an apostle when he made them capable of dwelling with their fellow men and women. The best argument for the Catholic Church is not the words spoken from this pulpit but the lives lived in this Priory and in this parish. We should measure the words by the life, not the life by the words. Bend my stubborn heart, my Master, make my lips truthful. May my prayer be a prayer of truth as well as a prayer of petition. May I desire what I say I desire; and may I desire as first what Thou hast put first, at the head of all our desires - Thy Will, Thy Kingdom, and the hallowing of Thy Name."

"Some men wrest a living from nature. This is called work. Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature. This is called trade. Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature. This is called finance."

"The great observed fact, of world-wide incidence, is that in large industrialized urban areas (and in town-infested rural areas) normal family life is psychologically and economically impossible; because from the average parent is habitually demanded more than average virtue..."

"The religious men or women who have publicly promised God to keep poverty, chastity, obedience are not thereby bound to more poverty, more chastity, more obedience than if they had remained as lay-folk in the world."

"This book rests upon certain dogmatic and moral principles, certain undeniable facts, and it makes certain practical proposals. The first principle is that there is a God, our Creator, Whom we must love and serve; and Whom we cannot love and serve without loving and serving our fellow creatures. The second principle is that the Family is the unit of all social life; and that therefore the value of all social proposals must be tested by their effect on the Family. The third (psychological) principle is that from the average man we cannot expect more than average virtue. A set of circumstances demanding from the average man more than average (i.e. heroic) virtue is called an Occasion of Sin. The fourth (moral) principle is that the occasions of sin should be changed, if they can possibly be changed, i.e. they must be overcome by flight not fight."