Instead of always thinking about our plans and anxiously looking to the future, or giving ourselves up to regret for the past, we should never forget that the present is the only reality, the only certainty; the future almost always turns out contrary to our expectations; the past, too, was very different from what we suppose it to have been.
What heart has not acknowledged the influence of this hour, the sweet and soothing hour of twilight - the hour of love - the hour of adoration - the hour of rest - when we think of those we love, only to regret that we have not loved them more dearly; when we remember our enemies only to forgive them.
The most learned men have told us that only the wise man is free. What is freedom but the ability to live as one will? The man who lives as he wills is none other than the one who strives for the right, who does his duty, who plans his life with forethought, and who obeys the laws because he knows it is good for him, and not out of fear. Everything he says, does, or thinks is spontaneous and free. His tasks and conduct begin and end in himself, because nothing has so much influence over him as his own counsel and decision. Even the supreme power of fortune is submissive to him. The wise poet has reminded us that fortune is molded for each man by the manner of his life. Only the wise man does nothing against his will, or with regret and by compulsion. Thought this truth deserves to be discussed at greater length, it is nevertheless proverbial that no one is free except the wise. Evil men are nothing but slaves.
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I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, and I only regret it does not exist.
Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when we were not: this gives us no concern - why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be? I have no wish to be alive a hundred years ago, why should I regret and lay it so much to heart that I shall not be here in a hundred years hence.?
Sadness is a great obstacle to serving the Almighty. A person who has transgressed should not become excessively sad since this will prevent him from further spiritual growth. One should feel deep regret for the wrong he has done and then continue to feel joy in his relationship with the Almighty since he has sincere regret and is resolved not to repeat his transgression.