In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.
Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.
It is incomprehensible that God should exist, and it is incomprehensible that he should not exist.
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.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
All human evil comes from a single cause, man’s inability to sit still in a room.
Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.
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.
Curiosity is only vanity. We usually only want to know something so that we can talk about it.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
Il n’est pas certain que tout soit incertain.
(Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)
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.
When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.
Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness.
Man’s sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.
It is man’s natural sickness to believe that he possesses the truth.
Evil is easy, and has infinite forms.
Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back.
I maintain that, if everyone knew what others said about him, there would not be four friends in the world.
Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, skeptically of skepticism.
Le silence eternel des ces espaces infinis m’effraie – (The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me.)
When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape. Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair.
And is it not obvious that, just as it is a crime to disturb the peace when truth reigns, it is also a crime to remain at peace when the truth is being destroyed?
Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.
I ask you neither for health nor for sickness, for life nor for death; but that you may dispose of my health and my sickness, my life and my death, for your glory … You alone know what is expedient for me; you are the sovereign master, do with me according to your will. Give to me, or take away from me, only conform my will to yours. I know but one thing, Lord, that it is good to follow you, and bad to offend you. Apart from that, I know not what is good or bad in anything.
I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter. (Letter 16, 1657)