The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
Purity of heart is to will one thing.
Truth is not introduced into the individual from without, but was within him all the time.
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.
The conclusions of passion are the only reliable ones.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible . . . what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!
Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.
To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going down on one's knees and thanking him.
Teach me, O God, not to torture myself, not to make a martyr out of myself through stifling reflection, but rather teach me to breathe deeply in faith.
Most people believe that the Christian commandments are intentionally a little too severe - like setting a clock half an hour ahead to make sure of not being late in the morning.
Without risk, faith is an impossibility.
Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.
Listen to the cry of a woman in labor at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.
A 'no' does not hide anything, but a 'yes' very easily becomes a deception.
A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.
If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?
The stone that was rolled before Christ's tomb might appropriately be called the philosopher's stone because its removal gave not only the pharisees but, now for 1800 years, the philosophers so much to think about.
What is existence for but to be laughed at if men in their twenties have already attained the utmost?