The world is eaten up by boredom. You can't see it all at once. It is like dust. You go about and never notice, you breathe it in, you eat and drink it. It is sifted so fine, it doesn't even grit on your teeth. But stand still for an instant and there it is, coating your face and hands.
I know the compassion of others is a relief at first. I don't despise it. But it can't quench pain, it slips through your soul as through a sieve. And when our suffering has been dragged from one pity to another, as from one mouth to another, we can no longer respect or love it.
Lust is a mysterious wound in the side of humanity; or rather, at the very source of its life! To confound this lust in man with that desire which unites the sexes is like confusing a tumor with the very organ which it devours, a tumor whose very deformity horribly reproduces the shape.
And what have you laymen made of hell? A kind of penal servitude for eternity, on the lines of your convict prisons on earth, to which you condemn in advance all the wretched felons your police have hunted from the beginning - enemies of society, as you call them. You're kind enough to include the blasphemers and the profane. What proud or reasonable man could stomach such a notion of God's justice? And when you find that notion inconvenient it's easy enough for you to put it on one side. Hell is not to love any more, Madame. Not to... Read more »
Fact is Our Lord knew all about the power of money: He gave capitalism a tiny niche in His scheme of things, He gave it a chance, He even provided a first installment of funds. Can you beat that? It's so magnificent. God despises nothing. After all, if the deal had come off, Judas would probably have endowed sanatoriums, hospitals, public libraries or laboratories.
Chantal's only ruse ... was her shattering simplicity. While a weak man or an imposter is always more complicated than the problem he is trying to solve, and thinking to encompass his adversary, merely keeps prowling interminably around himself, the heroic nature will throw itself into the heart of the danger to turn it to its own use, just as captured artillery is turned about and aimed at the backs of the fleeing enemy.
The contradictions in Renan , his feminine sensibility, coquetry, unavowed egotism, and sudden emotional outbursts, all indicate a soul deliberately using distraction as a means of evasion. The perpetual equivocation bears witness to God in the same way as the twisting and turning of a hunted animal indicates the presence of an unseen hunter.
Have you never been moved by poor men's fidelity, the image of you they form in their simple minds? Why should you always talk of their envy, without understanding that what they ask of you is not so much your worldly goods, as something very hard to define, which they themselves can put no name to; yet at times it consoles their loneliness; a dream of splendor, of magnificence, a tawdry dream, a poor man's dream -and yet God blesses it!
Like all truly pure souls she [Chantal] quickly resigned herself to past faults, thought only of how to repair whatever harm they had done. "Of all my daughters, you are certainly the least bothered by scruples of conscience," Abbé Chevance used to say.... Even sin, once the will is detached and no longer nourishes it, withers and dies sterile. It is in the secret of intentions, like in a decomposing humus, in the dark forest of future sins, unpardoned sins, half dead, half living, that new poisons are distilled.
When you think of the huge uninterrupted success of a book like Don Quixote, you're bound to realize that if humankind have not yet finished being revenged, by sheer laughter, for being let down in their greatest hope, it is because that hope was cherished so long and lay so deep!
Justice in the hands of the powerful is merely a governing system like any other. Why call it justice? Let us rather call it injustice, but of a sly effective order, based entirely on cruel knowledge of the resistance of the weak, their capacity for pain, humilation and misery. Injustice sustained at the exact degree of necessary tension to turn the cogs of the huge machine-for-the-making-of-rich-men, without bursting the boiler.
Sadness came into the world with Satan that world our Saviour never prayed for, the world you say I do not know. Oh, it is not so difficult to recognize: it is the world that prefers cold to warmth! What can God find to say to those who, of their own free will, of their own weight incline towards sadness and turn instinctively towards the night?