Wisdom on Wednesdays—Penance gradually teaches us to deliberate

Gertrude Slicing Bread, c. 1921, pastel on paper

“Penance, by deliberation after evil, gradually teaches one to deliberate before evil.”  (1939)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—An overwhelming desire for security and comfort

Gertrude Knitting, c. 1970, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in.

“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)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The breakdown of civilization

Lady in Garden

Lady in a Garden, pastel on paper, c. 1922, 14¼ x 11¼ in.
A portrait of Schmitt’s wife Gertrude done outside his studio in Silvermine.

“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)