Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The heart of a maiden is a dark forest" - Russian Proverbs

"While I was in Tibet I saw a Buddhist, a monk, who had lived for five or six years in a cave. When he went into the cave he had good eyesight. But because he stayed so long in the darkness his eyes grew weaker and weaker, and at last he became quite blind. It is just the same with us. If we do not use the blessings which we have received from God for His Glory, we are in danger of losing them for ever." - Sadhu Sundar Singh

"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." - Saint Paul, aka The Apostle Paul, Paul the Apostle or Saul of Tarsus NULL

"Nothing can work me damage except myself. The harm that I sustain I carry about with me, and never am a real sufferer but by my own fault." - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux NULL

"One cannot now say, the priest is as the people, for the truth is that the people are not so bad as the priest." - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux NULL

"If you have love in your life it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you don't have it, no matter what else there is, it's not enough" - Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, fully Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton

"If your eye is simple all of your body will be too." - Saint Francis de Sales NULL

"A gift free of trials is a disaster to those who receive it." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"What is so bitter and vehement as the torment of love? I mean, those who have become conscious that they have sinned against love suffer greater torment from this than from any fear of punishment. For the sorrow caused in the heart by sin against love is more poignant than any torment." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"Fasting is the change of every part of our life, because the sacrifice of the fast is not the abstinence but the distancing from sins. Therefore, whoever limits the fast to the deprivation of food, he is the one who, in reality, abhors and ridicules the fast. Are you fasting? Show me your fast with your works. Which works? If you see someone who is poor, show him mercy. If you see an enemy, reconcile with him. If you see a friend who is becoming successful, do not be jealous of him! If you see a beautiful woman on the street, pass her by. In other words, not only should the mouth fast, but the eyes and the legs and the arms and all the other parts of the body should fast as well. Let the hands fast, remaining clean from stealing and greediness. Let the legs fast, avoiding roads which lead to sinful sights. Let the eyes fast by not fixing themselves on beautiful faces and by not observing the beauty of others. You are not eating meat, are you? You should not eat debauchery with your eyes as well. Let your hearing also fast. The fast of hearing is not to accept bad talk against others and sly defamations." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Let us pass to the despotic part of the soul, spirit. We must not eliminate it utterly from the youth nor yet allow him to use it all the time. Let us train boys from earliest childhood to be patient when they suffer wrongs themselves, but, if they see another being wronged, to sally forth courageously and aid the sufferer in fitting measure. –" - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Nothing is more fallacious than wealth. It is a hostile comrade, a domestic enemy." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"May it please our Lord that I be not one of these; and may His Majesty give me grace to take that for peace which is really peace, that for honor which is really honor, and that for delight which is really a delight. Let me never mistake one thing for another — and then I snap my fingers at all the devils, for they shall be afraid of me. I do not understand those terrors which make us cry out, Satan, Satan! when we may say, God, God! and make Satan tremble. Do we not know that he cannot stir without the permission of God? What does it mean? I am really much more afraid of those people who have so great a fear of the devil, than I am of the devil himself. Satan can do me no harm whatever, but they can trouble me very much, particularly if they be confessors. I have spent some years of such great anxiety, that even now I am amazed that I was able to bear it. Blessed be our Lord, who has so effectually helped me!" - Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada NULL

"Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us." - Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada NULL

"She becomes brutally aware of her insignificance and realizes how little we would be able to do to help ourselves if the Beloved ever decided to abandon us." - Saint Teresa of Ávila, aka Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada NULL

"Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand." - Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

"When a thing is done again and again, it seems to proceed from a deliberate judgment of reason. Accordingly, custom has the force of a law, abolishes law, and is the interpreter of law." - Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

"Practice humility and patience." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"Seek counsel of very pious, disinterested persons, and follow the call of Our Lord and the advice of those persons." - Saint Vincent de Paul

"Many men hoard for the future husbands of their wives" - Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

"We always do what we MOST WANT to do, whether or not we like what we are doing at each instant of our lives. Wanting and liking many times are not the same thing. Many people have done what they say they didn't want to do at a particular moment. And that may be true until one looks deeper into the motivation behind the doing. What they are really saying is the price they will have to pay or the consequences they will have to endure, for not doing that something may be too high or onerous for them not to do it. Such as going to work. Many people say they don't want to go to work and yet they go. Which means they don't want to risk losing their jobs and the negative hurting emotions associated with not having a job. It has been estimated about 90% to 95% of all people work at jobs which are unfulfilling and which they dislike and would leave in a minute if they only knew what they really wanted to do." - Sidney Madwed

"And so heresy is named in the Greek from its meaning of choice, since each at his own will chooses what he pleases to teach or believe." - Isidore of Seville, fully Saint Isidore of Seville NULL

"Nothing happens to any man which he is not framed by nature to bear. [Marcus Aurelius]" - Stoics, The Stoics or Stoicism NULL

"Our salvation and our loss is in ourselves. [Epictetus]" - Stoics, The Stoics or Stoicism NULL

"None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal peace." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"Viewed purely in the abstract, I think there can be no question that women should have equal rights with men....Especially as regards the laws relating to marriage there should be the most absolute equality between the two sexes. I do not think the woman should assume the man's name." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"I sincerely wish we could see our government so secured as to depend less on the character of the person in whose hands it is trusted. Bad men will sometimes get in and with such an immense patronage may make great progress in corrupting the public mind and principles. This is a subject with which wisdom and patriotism should be occupied." - Thomas Jefferson

"Let nothing be spared of either reason or passion to preserve the public confidence entire as the only rock of our safety." - Thomas Jefferson

"It is not beyond actual possibilities that men from outer space have landed (or will in the future land) on earth and have begun to breed here for whatever reason they may have had." - Wilhelm Reich

"We therefore need to know the gifts given us by God, so that we may use them, for by these we shall be saved." - Walter Hilton

"A very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing." - Warren Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha

"What if the healing of the world utterly depends on the ten-thousand invisible kindnesses we offer simply and quietly throughout the pilgrimage of each human life?" - Wayne Muller

"Playing with fire will eventually turn bitter." - Welsh Proverbs

"We apprehend that conscientiousness or benevolence is good with as complete certainty, directness, and self-evidence as we ever apprehend anything." - W. D. Ross, fully Sir William David Ross

"Some people and I am one of them hate happy ends. We feel cheated. Harm is the norm. Doom should not jam. The avalanche stopping in its tracks a few feet above the cowering village behaves not only unnaturally but unethically." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Sometimes... Come on, how often exactly, Bert? Can you recall four, five, more such occasions? Or would no human heart have survived two or three? Sometimes (I have nothing to say in reply to your question), while Lolita would be haphazardly preparing her homework, sucking a pencil, lolling sideways in an easy chair with both legs over its arm, I would shed all my pedagogic restraint, dismiss all our quarrels, forget all my masculine pride - and literally crawl on my knees to your chair, my Lolita! You would give me one look - a gray furry question mark of a look: Oh no, not again (incredulity, exasperation); for you never deigned to believe that I could, without any specific designs, ever crave to bury my face in your plaid skirt, my darling! The fragility of those bare arms of yours - how I longed to enfold them, all your four limpid lovely limbs, a folded colt, and take your head between my unworthy hands, and pull the temple-skin back on both sides, and kiss your Chinesed eyes, and - Please, leave me alone, will you, you would say, for Christ's sake leave me alone. And I would get up from the floor while you looked on, your face deliberately twitching in imitation of my tic nerveux. But never mind, never mind, I am only a brute, never mind, let us go on with my miserable story." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"A people that sells its own children is more condemnable than the buyer; this commerce demonstrates our superiority; he who gives himself a master was born to have one." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Jesus Christ: A name that once upon a time was taken by God when he went to make a short sojourn in Judea, where, failing to declare his right name ...he was hanged.... Had it not been for this lucky turn..., the human race had been lost." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Let us work without theorizing, ‘tis the only way to make life endurable." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"The malevolence of men revealed itself to his mind in all of its ugliness." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"You must have the devil in you to succeed in any of the arts." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to" - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love, is well done." - Vincent van Gogh, fully Vincent Willem van Gogh

"I waited. I listened. Nothing came, nothing, I cried then with a sudden conviction of complete desertion, Now there is nothing. No fin breaks the waste of this immeasurable sea. Life has destroyed me. No echo comes when I speak, no varied words. This is more truly death than the death of friends, than the death of youth. I am the swathed figure in the hairdresser's shop taking up only so much space." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Straightening himself and stealthily fingering his pocket-knife he started after her to follow this woman, this excitement, which seemed even with its back turned to shed on him a light which connected them, which singled him out, as if the random uproar of the traffic had whispered through hallowed hands his name, not Peter, but his private name which he called himself in his own thoughts." - Virginia Woolf, nee Stephen, fully Adeline Virginia Woolf

"Since, O Mazda, from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body; mental power and knowledge and since Thou didst place life within the corporeal body and didst bestow to mankind the power to act, speak and guide, you wished that everyone should choose his or her own faith and path freely ." - Zoroaster, aka Zarathustra or Zarathushtra Spitama NULL

"First problem: Produce wealth. Second problem: To distribute it...England solves the first of these two problems. She creates wealth admirably; she distributes it badly...Communism and Agrarian law think they have solved the second problem. They are mistaken. Their distribution kills production. Equal partition abolishes emulation. And consequently labor. It is a distribution made by the butcher, who kills what he divides...The two problems must be solved together to be well solved." - Victor Hugo

"An egotist can never be humble that is why he is seldom blessed even by god." - Rig Veda, or The Rigveda