My Favourite Quotes
He who knows not the past, has no future.
Das Leben ist schwer. (Life is hard.)
All pain is bearable where there is clarity.
Simone Weil, Lettre á un religieux (1943)
We shall not find ‘the’ meaning or sense of suffering, because in and of itself it makes no sense at all, it is absurd… Only the attitude of the person who suffers counts…. When suffering comes into a person’s life, then it is not about seeking out the meaning of suffering. It is rather about looking to see whether it still be possible to give meaning to life in spite of the ‘non-sense’ which suffering causes.
Dominique Morin, Catholic theologian, Le mal et la souffrance (1995)
I believe that if you keep asking questions, then you will get the answers.
And if the answer is simple, then it is God who has answered.
Albert Einstein, Jewish scientist
In beauty one finds God, even in the beauty of mathematics.
Alla fine della vita preferirei sentire rimorso invece di rimpianto.
At the end of my life I would rather feel remorse (for what I have done),
than regret (for what I have not done).
Sandra Milo, Italian actress
Messieurs, il y a trois choses qui sont á Dieu et qui n’appartiennent pas á l’homme: l’irrévocable, l’irréparable et l’indissoluble. Malheur á l’homme s’il les introduit dans les lois!
Three things belong to God and do not belong to men: the irrevocable, the irreparable and the indissoluble. Woe to men it they introduce them into their laws!
Victor Hugo, National Constituant Assembly of the French Republic, 15th Sept 1848
The Catholic Church is for saints and sinners alone. For respectable people, the Anglican church will do.
Oscar Wilde, Anglo-Irish author
Tutti i disordini vengono dagli Ordini.
(All disorders come from the Orders.)
Ancient Roman saying:
(in fact, many of the troubles plaguing the Church come from the religious Orders - Dominicans, Jesuits, etc.)
He who marries fashion today, is a widower tomorrow.
Cardinal Suenens, during the days of the II Vatican Council
Sometimes I am asked, why I never write about the good fruits of the Second Vatican Council?
I can answer that in three words: There are none!
Michael Davies, Catholic apologetist
The majority of people believe that ‘venerable’ means ‘old’. There is a deep-lying connexion in the human heart between worship and age. But the new fashion is for something bright, loud and practical. It has been set by a strange alliance between archaeologists absorbed in their speculations on the rites of the 2nd century, and modernists who wish to give the Church the character of our own deplorable epoch. In combination they call themselves 'liturgists'. Evelyn Waugh
The authentic celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is the heart and condition sine qua non of any renewal of the Church whatsoever.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1997
The Calvinists treat Almighty God as a servant;
the Lutherans treat Him as an equal; the Catholics treat Him as a God.
Frederick the Great, Emperor of Prussia.
Christianity is a liturgical religion. The Church is first of all a worshipping community. Worship comes first, doctrine and discipline second.
George Florovsky, theologian
After the Second Vatican Council, the Vatican threw the baby out and kept the bath-water.
The post-conciliar Church, which could do so much good, makes Herself totally unbelievable by insisting upon meddling in people’s private lives, which is of no concern of the Church, and whereupon She is completely unwilling to make any compromise, whilst She hardly at all tends to the worthy celebration of Mass and the respectful distribution of Holy Communion – the Church’s truly proper sphere of concern, indeed, Her chief concern - but whereupon She unfortunately seems willing to make just about any and every compromise imaginable.
Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas
(Plato is my friend, but the
truth is even more my friend.)
Aristoteles, Greek philosopher, Ethica Nicomachea I, 4
Non tam praeclarum est scire Latine quam turpe nescire.
(It is not so much an honour to know Latin, as it is a dishonour not to know it.)
Cicero, Classical Roman author
People may well have a right to their own opinion, but they do not have a right to their own facts.
Al Gore, in an interview, 2007
Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts (which indeed does not seem quite the thing), I shall drink - to the Pope, if you please, - still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.
John Henry Card. Newman, A Letter Addressed to His Grace the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation, 1874
In the Middle Ages was it above all the Cistercian monks, who wrote about the mystery of friendship. Aelred van Rievaulx dedicated a whole book to friendship. He is of the opinion, that it is beneath the dignity of man to live without loving another person and without being loved back by another. For him friendship is always also open to God. In the friend I see the countenance of God… and ‘experience from nearby the goodness of Christ Himself and begin to understand how gentle and sweet He is.’
Father Anselm Gruen, OSB, Pratelstvi, (Friendship) (2002)
To love Mozart in all his masterworks means not to belong to any musical faction. It means to declare oneself for the beautiful and good in every category.
True genius without heart is an impossibility. For it is not great understanding alone, or imagination, or both together that make for genius. Love, love, love is the soul of genius!
One is never more fully human than when worshipping God.
A human being is as far removed from his true self as he is removed from God.
There is nothing more futile than wanting to be anything other than what I am by nature.
Piotr Iljic Tschaikovsky, Letter to Anatoly Tschaikovsky, 25 Feb 1878
Wish not for anything else than what befalls you, and that which it brings with it. For what else would better become you?
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, Ta eis heauton, Book Seven, 57
Homo sum et nihil humani mihi alienum puto.
(I am a human being, therefore nothing that is human is foreign to me.)
Publius Ovidius Naso, Roman poet
For my part, I would not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.
Saint Augustine, Catholic bishop and theologian
I shall endure the Church, till I find another, better one.
The Church is our mother, and therefore we should always love her; even when she has become a whore, we must keep on loving her, and work together on her rehabilitation.
Quia fecisti nos ad Te, et cor nostrum inquietum est donec requiescat in Te.
For Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.
Ama, et fac ut vis.
Love, and do as you wish.
Since almighty God is endlessly good, He would never let any evil whatsoever exist in the works of His creation, were He not so almighty and so good as to allow good to come forth even out of evil.
I believe in order to understand, and I try to understand in order to believe.
A friend is someone who knows what I am and still loves me.
Everything comes forth out of love, everything is allowed to happen for the salvation of mankind. God does everything only with this end in mind.
Saint Catherine of Siena
Let nothing disturb thee, nothing afright thee; All things are passing;
God never changeth; Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
Who possesseth God in nothing is wanting; God alone sufficeth.
Saint Theresa of Avila
God is not offended by us, except by what we do against our own good.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Catholic priest and theologian, in Summa contra gentiles
The security that Divine light gives us,
is greater than the security that human understanding gives us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica
To believe is an act of reason that assents to divine truth,
at the insistence of the will, which is thereto urged on by God’s grace.
Saint Thomas Aquinas in Summa Theologica
Faith is a foretaste of the knowledge that in the life to come will make us happy.
Saint Thomas Aquinas
About half of them.
Pope John XXIII, when asked by a journalist, how many people work in the Vatican?
Judge not lest you be judged. For with the judgment whereby you judge, shall you too be judged. And with the measure whereby you measure, shall you too be measured. Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not see the balk in your own eye? You hypocrite, first pull the balk out of your own eye!
Our Lord and God Jesus Christ
Christ came to take away our sins, not our minds.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr
A coward dies a thousand deaths, a courageous man but once.
William Shakespeare, English writer
Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new,
and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith which he preached. God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. . . Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats. To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death.
Manuel II Paleologus, Byzantine emperor, in an exchange with an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, A.D. 1391