I do not admire a virtue like valour when it is pushed to excess, if I do not see at the same time the excess of the opposite virtue, as one does in Epaminondas, who displayed extreme valour and extreme benevolence. For otherwise it is not an ascent, but a fall. We do not display our greatness by placing ourselves at one extremity, but rather by being at both at the same time, and filling up the whole of the space between them.
The heart has its reasons, which Reason does not know. We feel it in a thousand things. It is the heart which feels God, and not Reason. This, then, is perfect faith: God felt in the heart.
The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.
Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion.
I have concluded that the whole misfortune of men comes from a single thing, and that is their inability to remain at rest in a room.
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.
If we subject everything to reason, our religion will have nothing mysterious or supernatural; if we violate the principles of reason, our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.
In each action we must look beyond the action at our past, present, and future state, and at others whom it affects, and see the relations of all those things. And then we shall be very cautious.
On vanity: The nose of Cleopatra: if it had been shorter, the face of the earth would have changed.
- Bernard of Clairvaux French Catholic Religious Leader
- Thomas Aquinas Italian Catholic Priest
- Francis de Sales French Catholic Saint
- Vincent de Paul French Catholic Saint
- Pope John Paul II Polish Catholic Religious Leader
- Jean Baptiste Massillon French Catholic Religious Leader
- John Vianney French Catholic Priest
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin French Jesuit Scientist
- Desiderius Erasmus Dutch Humanist, Scholar
- Henri Nouwen Dutch Catholic Priest