Josef Pieper Quotes


Unless we regain the art of silence and insight the ability for nonactivity unless we substitute true leisure for our hectic amusements we will destroy our culture and ourselves.

The "supreme good" and its attainment -- that is happiness. And joy is: response to happiness.

The eye of perfected friendship with God is aware of deeper dimensions of reality to which the eyes of the average man and the average Christian are not yet opened.

To celebrate a festival means: to live out for some special occasion and in an uncommon manner the universal assent to the world as a whole.

The essence of leisure is not to assure that we may function smoothly but rather to assure that we embedded in our social function are enabled to remain fully human.

The ultimate meaning of the active life is to make possible the happiness of contemplation.

To be conscious of gratitude is to acknowledge a gift.

Modern religious teaching have little or nothing to say about the place of prudence in life or in the hierarchy of virtues.

The brave man uses wrath for his own act above all in attack 'for it is peculiar to wrath to pounce upon evil. Thus fortitude and wrath work directly upon each other.

All just order in the world is based on this that man give man what is his due.

Being precedes Truth and "¦ Truth precedes the Good.

... the greatest menace to our capacity for contemplation is the incessant fabrication of tawdry empty stimuli which kill the receptivity of the soul.

Justice is a habit (habitus) whereby a man renders to each one his due with constant and perpetual will.

Happiness is essentially a gift; we are not the forgers of our own felicity.

[T]o know means to reach the reality of existing things[.]

Happiness ... even the smallest happiness is like a step out of Time and the greatest happiness is sharing in Eternity.

He who knows does not feel wonder. It could not be said that God experiences wonder for God knows in the most absolute and perfect way.

Leisure is only possible when we are at one with ourselves. We tend to overwork as a means of self-escape as a way of trying to justify our existence.

Wonder is defined by Thomas [Aquinas] in the Summa Theologiae [I-II Q. 32 a. 8] as the desiderium sciendi the desire for knowledge active longing to know.

Surrender to sensuality paralyzes the powers of the moral person.

Only the silent hear and those who do not remain silent do not hear.