A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us.
All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room.
All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.
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.
Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.
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.
Concupiscence and force are the source of all our actions; concupiscence causes voluntary actions, force involuntary ones.
Continuous eloquence wearies. Grandeur must be abandoned to be appreciated. Continuity in everything is unpleasant. Cold is agreeable, that we may get warm.
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?
Desire and force between them are responsible for all our actions; desire causes our voluntary acts, force our involuntary.
Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.
Earnestness is enthusiasm tempered by reason.
Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
Even those who write against fame wish for the fame of having written well, and those who read their works desire the fame of having read them.
Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.
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.
Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.
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 can well conceive a man without hands, feet, head. But I cannot conceive man without thought; he would be a stone or a brute.
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
If all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.
If man made himself the first object of study, he would see how incapable he is of going further. How can a part know the whole?
If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.
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!
If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation, that He exists.
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 good to be tired and wearied by the futile search after the true good, that we may stretch out our arms to the Redeemer.
It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist.
It is natural for the mind to believe and for the will to love; so that, for want of true objects, they must attach themselves to false.
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.