Happy is he to whom truth manifests itself, not in
signs and words that fade, but as it actually is. Our
opinions, our senses often deceive us and we discern
What good is much discussion of
involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of
them will not be held against us on Judgment Day?
Neglect of things which are profitable and necessary
and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and
harmful, are great folly.
We have eyes and do not see.
What, therefore, have we to do with questions of
philosophy? He to whom the Eternal Word speaks is
free from theorizing. For from this Word are all
things and of Him all things speak -- the Beginning
Who also speaks to us. Without this Word no man
understands or judges aright. He to whom it becomes
everything, who traces all things to it and who sees
all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at
peace with God.
O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You
in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many
things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long
for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be
silent before You; You alone speak to me.
The more recollected a man is, and the more simple
of heart he becomes, the easier he understands
sublime things, for he receives the light of
knowledge from above. The pure, simple, and steadfast
spirit is not distracted by many labors, for he does
them all for the honor of God. And since he enjoys
interior peace he seeks no selfish end in anything.
What, indeed, gives more trouble and affliction than
uncontrolled desires of the heart?
A good and devout man arranges in his mind the
things he has to do, not according to the whims of
evil inclination but according to the dictates of
right reason. Who is forced to struggle more than he
who tries to master himself? This ought to be our
purpose, then: to conquer self, to become stronger
each day, to advance in virtue.
Every perfection in this life has some imperfection
mixed with it and no learning of ours is without some
darkness. Humble knowledge of self is a surer path to
God than the ardent pursuit of learning. Not that
learning is to be considered evil, or knowledge,
which is good in itself and so ordained by God; but a
clean conscience and virtuous life ought always to be
preferred. Many often err and accomplish little or
nothing because they try to become learned rather
than to live well.
If men used as much care in uprooting vices and
implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems,
there would not be so much evil and scandal in the
world, or such laxity in religious organizations. On
the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked
what we have read but what we have done; not how well
we have spoken but how well we have lived.
Tell me, where now are all the masters and
teachers whom you knew so well in life and who were
famous for their learning? Others have already taken
their places and I know not whether they ever think
of their predecessors. During life they seemed to be
something; now they are seldom remembered. How
quickly the glory of the world passes away! If only
their lives had kept pace with their learning, then
their study and reading would have been worth while.
How many there are who perish because of vain worldly
knowledge and too little care for serving God. They
became vain in their own conceits because they chose
to be great rather than humble.
He is truly great who has great charity. He is truly
great who is little in his own eyes and makes nothing
of the highest honor. He is truly wise who looks upon
all earthly things as folly that he may gain Christ.
He who does God's will and renounces his own is truly