“Can our national virtues of Comfort, Wealth, and Success be reconciled with the Cardinal Virtues of Chastity, Poverty, and Humility? I am afraid that the answer must be honestly faced. And the answer is, No. The breakdown of civilization has probably been caused by the attempt to reconcile the two sets of ultimately contradictory, exclusive values.” (1943)
“Civilizations, like persons, exhibit the same symptoms in senility: an overwhelming desire for security and comfort with a minimum of manual effort; and will submit to indignities for their sake.” (1954)
“Christian Civilization, morally considered, means simply the sense in the person of virtue and the sense of sin. It means, in a word, responsibility.” (1943)
“One thing common to the millions of conformist individualists is that they are suffering under the delusion that they are alone and fighting a back-to-the-wall losing battle against authority. Actually, the only man who stands alone today is the person (not individual) who makes decisions which are basically moral, and who takes full responsibility.” (1961)
“Man is only happy in cooperating with his individual destiny. All men are destined to perfect virtue.
Some men are destined to achieve virtue before death.
Some are destined to achieve it after death.
It is a special mark of providence to have the opportunity of complete humility before death. The longer before death it is—the greater the mark of God’s love.”
(October 19, 1929)