The Best Quotes From “Peace Of The Soul”

My friend Dawn Eden recommended that I read Peace of Soul. She said it was an extraordinary book for Christians and she was right. Enjoy the quotations from the book!

There is nothing really new in the world; there are only the old problems happening to new people. — P.7

Since the essence of sin is opposition to God’s will, it follows that the sin of one individual is bound to oppose any other individual whose will is in harmony with God’s will. This resulting estrangement from one’s fellow humans is intensified when one begins to live solely for this world; then the possessions of the neighbor are regarded as something unjustly taken from oneself. — P.10

Dread arises because a human becomes aware, however dimly, of his contingency and finiteness. He is not the absolute, though he wants it; he is not even all that he is or all that he could be. This tension between possibility annd fact, this oscillation between wanting to be with God and wanting to be God is a deeper side of his anxiety. — P.19

Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals. It is rarely cured when the person himself is vertical — i.e., healthy and prosperous — but it can be cured when the patient is horizontal — sick and disillusioned. That is why catastrophes are necessary in an era of pride to bring people back again to God and the salvation of their souls. — P.22

Anxiety and frustration invariably follow when the desires of the heart are centered on anything less than God, for all pleasures of the earth, pursued as final ends, turn out to be the exact opposite of what was expected. …One of the greatest deceptions today is the belief that leisure and money are the two essentials of happiness. The sad fact of life is that there are no more frustrated people on the face of the earth than those who have nothing to do and those who have too much money for their own good. — P.25

Rather, the human being has aspirations to good that he finds it impossible to realize completely by himself; at the same time, he has an inclination toward evil that solicits him away from these ideals. He is like someone who falls down a well through his own stupidity. He knows he ought not to be there, but he cannot get out by himself. Or, to change the picture, he is like a clock whose mainspring is broken. He needs to be fixed on the inside, but the repairs must be supplied from without. He is mistaken if he is an optimist, who believes evolution will give him a mainspring, or a pessimist, who believes that nobody can fix him. He is a creature who can run well again, but only if some watchmaker will have the kindness to repair him. — P.36-37

God refuses to be a totalitarian dictator in order to abolish evil by destroying human freedom. — P.39

Among all of my patients in the second half of life — that is to say, over thirty-five — there has not been one whose problem in the last resort of life was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook. — C.G. Jung, P.47

The first temptation of Satan on the Mount was to try to induce Our Lord to give up the salvation of souls and to concentrate upon social salvation by turning stones into bread — on the false assumption that it was hungry stomachs and not corrupted hearts that made an unhappy civilization. — P.55

Most souls are afraid of God precisely because of His Goodness, which makes Him dissatisfied with anything that is imperfect. Our greatest fear is not that God may not love us enough but that God may love us too much. As the lover wants to see his beloved perfect in manners and deportment, so, too, God, in loving us, desires that we be perfect as His Heavenly Father is perfect. — P.56

The worldly are willing to let anyone believe in God if he or she pleases, but only on the condition that a belief in God will mean no more than belief in anything else. They will allow God, provided that God does not matter. But taking God seriously is precisely what makes the saint. — P.61-62

If we fly from God, it is because His Goodness is our reproach and because union with Him demands disunion and divorce from evil. — P.63

By professing no ideal in morality, these nice people can never be accused of not living up to their creed. This is the great advantage that they have over the Christians — whose creed is so lofty that they can often and truly be accused of failing to meet its demands. — P.69

It is a fact of human experience that the more experience we have with sin — our own sin — the less we are conscious of it. — P.69

Anyone who has fallen away from the spiritual order will hate it, because religion is the reminder of his guilt. — P.71

To direct our lives toward any other road than that which ends in our ultimate perfection, is not only to damage our minds, but it is also to miss the happiness that comes from living right. — P.77

We sit at the piano of life and insist that every note we strike is right — because we struck it. We justify want of faith by saying, “I don’t go to Church, but I am better than those who do,” as one might say, or “I don’t pay taxes or serve the nations, but I am better than those who do.” If each person is his own judge and standard, then who shall say he’s wrong? — P.108

No minds of souls are more helpless than those who say they will ‘work the thing out alone.’ The Christian soul knows it needs Divine Help and therefore turns to Him Who loved us even while we were yet sinners. — P.109

The very good never believes very good, because they are judging themselves by the ideal. — P.110

There is no surer formula for discontent than to try to satisfy our cravings for the ocean of Infinite Love from the teacup of finite satisfactions. Nothing material, physical, or carnal can ever satisfy man completely; he has an immortal soul that needs an Eternal Love. — P.147

Once the Eternal is denied, the NOW becomes all-important. — P.149

The modern tragedy is not that human beings give way more often to their passions now than in previous ages, but that, in leaving the right road, they deny that there is a right road. People rebelled against God in other ages, but they recognized it as rebellion. They sinned, but they knew that they sinned. They saw clearly they were on the wrong road; today people throw away the map. –P.151

Sins do not become virtues by being widely practiced. Right is still right if nobody is right, and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong. — P.163

Arnold Toynbee, the historian, tells us that, out of twenty-one civilizations which have vanished, sixteen collapsed because of decay within. Nations are not often murdered; they more often commit suicide. — P.180

The principal cause of all unhappiness is unregulated desire — wanting more than is needed or wanting what is harmful to the spirit. The modern world is geared to increase our desires and our wants by its advertising, but it can never satisfy them. Our desires are infinite; the supply of any good on earth is finite. Hence our unhappiness and anxieties, our disappointments and our sadness. — P.183

It is not easy for normal persons to understand how goodness and truth can be hated, but they are. Truth can be hated, because it implies responsibility. Goodness is hated, because it is a reproach. If Our Blessed Lord had been tolerant and broad-minded, He would never have been crucified; it was the perfection of His virtue that constituted a judgment of the wicked. — P.191

There are many who would like to stretch a finger to Our Lord; they shrink back lest He should seize their hands and woo their hearts. — P.234

The denial of God springs from a person’s desire not to have a God — from his wish that there were no justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear no redistribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is what the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion — he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked person has for one whom he has wronged; He wishes the other were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. — P.242

Some sick people do not want to see a doctor; they are afraid the doctor may advise an operation as a condition of recovering their health. In the spiritual realm, too, we can refuse to be healed. We cannot initiate our own salvation — for the first movement of regeneration comes from God — but we can prevent it by our refusal to cooperate. — P.256


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