“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)
“Critics comfortably off and cosmopolite tell me that it is fatal for me to live alone in the woods and paint, that I must not separate myself from humanity, reality. . . . Humanity? Is there anything more human than ones own children? Reality? Is there anything more real than poverty with a family? (except death, which is also tasted each day)?” (1931)
“I have lost hope in organizations of poor individuals. I favor rather the poor family.” (1939)
“Now is the nadir of the world:
To be poor in spirit, but not too poor
To be chaste, but not too chaste
To be honest, but not too honest.
Thus Christianity is an enemy:
‘Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect’
is the counsel of fanaticism.
The politician must compromise in a ‘possible world.’”