All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
As men are not able to fight against death, misery, ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy, not to think of them at all.
Atheism shows strength of mind, but only to a certain degree.
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have not quarrelled with him?
Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them no art can keep or acquire them.
Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.
Custom is our nature. What are our natural principles but principles of custom?
Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see it is above, not against them.
Faith embraces many truths which seem to contradict each other.
Faith indeed tells what the senses do not tell, but not the contrary of what they see. It is above them and not contrary to them.
Faith is different from proof the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.
Habit is a second nature that destroys the first. But what is nature? Why is habit not natural? I am very much afraid that nature itself is only a first habit, just as habit is a second nature.
Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us.
He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.
Human beings must be known to be loved but Divine beings must be loved to be known.
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.
If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future.
If we must not act save on a certainty, we ought not to act on religion, for it is not certain. But how many things we do on an uncertainty, sea voyages, battles!
Imagination decides everything.
Imagination disposes of everything it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.
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.
In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist.
It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants.
It is the fight alone that pleases us, not the victory.
It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason.
Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.
Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.
Justice and truth are too such subtle points that our tools are too blunt to touch them accurately.
Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed.
Man's greatness lies in his power of thought.
Man's true nature being lost, everything becomes his nature as, his true good being lost, everything becomes his good.
Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness.
Men blaspheme what they do not know.
Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Men often take their imagination for their heart and they believe they are converted as soon as they think of being converted.
Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.
Noble deeds that are concealed are most esteemed.
Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.
Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.
One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.
Our nature consists in motion complete rest is death.
Our soul is cast into a body, where it finds number, time, dimension. Thereupon it reasons, and calls this nature necessity, and can believe nothing else.
Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.
That we must love one God only is a thing so evident that it does not require miracles to prove it.
The charm of fame is so great that we like every object to which it is attached, even death.
The finite is annihilated in the presence of the infinite, and becomes a pure nothing. So our spirit before God, so our justice before divine justice.
The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.
The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.
The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.
The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.
The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
The sensitivity of men to small matters, and their indifference to great ones, indicates a strange inversion.
The strength of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.
The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory.
There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.
There are two kinds of people one can call reasonable: those who serve God with all their heart because they know him, and those who seek him with all their heart because they do not know him.
There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.
Thus so wretched is man that he would weary even without any cause for weariness... and so frivolous is he that, though full of a thousand reasons for weariness, the least thing, such as playing billiards or hitting a ball, is sufficient enough to amuse him.
Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves.
To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher.
Too much and too little wine. Give him none, he cannot find truth give him too much, the same.
Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.
Two things control men's nature, instinct and experience.
Vanity of science. Knowledge of physical science will not console me for ignorance of morality in time of affliction, but knowledge of morality will always console me for ignorance of physical science.
We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
We like security: we like the pope to be infallible in matters of faith, and grave doctors to be so in moral questions so that we can feel reassured.
When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.