Best 47 of Josef Pieper quotes - MyQuotes

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Josef Pieper
By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

Contemplation does not ignore the 'historical Gethsemane', does not ignore the mystery of evil, guilt and its bloody atonement. The happiness of contemplation is a true happiness, indeed the supreme happiness; but it is founded upon sorrow.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

What distinguishes - in both senses of that word - contemplation is rather this: it is a knowing which is inspired by love. "Without love there would be no contemplation." Contemplation is a loving attainment of awareness. It is intuition of the beloved object.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Josef Pieper

Who among us has not suddenly looked into his child's face, in the midst of the toils and troubles of everyday life, and at that moment "seen" that everything which is good, is loved and lovable, loved by God! Such certainties all mean, at bottom, one and the same thing: that the world is plumb and sound; that everything comes to its appointed goal; that in spite of all appearances, underlying all things is - peace, salvation, gloria; that nothing and no one is lost; that "God holds in his hand the beginning, middle, and end of all that is." Such nonrational, intuitive certainties of the divine base of all that is can be vouchsafed to our gaze even when it is turned toward the most insignificant-looking things, if only it is a gaze inspired by love. That, in the precise sense, is contemplation... Out of this kind of contemplation of the created world arise in never-ending wealth all true poetry and all real art, for it is the nature of poetry and art to be paean and praise heard above all the wails of lamentation. No one who is not capable of such contemplation can grasp poetry in a poetic fashion, that is to say, in the only meaningful fashion. The indispensability, the vital function of the arts in man's life, consists above all in this: that through them contemplation of the created world is kept alive and active.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

Unchaste abandon and the self-surrender of the soul to the world of sensuality paralyzes the primordial powers of the moral person: the ability to perceive, in silence, the call of reality, and to make, in the retreat of this silence, the decision appropriate to the concrete situation of concrete action.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Josef Pieper

The vacancy left by absence of worship is filled by mere killing of time and by boredom, which is directly related to inability to enjoy leisure; for one can only be bored if the spiritual power to be leisurely has been lost. There is an entry in Baudelaire... "One must work, if not from taste then at least from despair. For, to reduce everything to a single truth: work is less boring than pleasure.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Josef Pieper

If to know is to work, then knowledge is the fruit of our own unaided effort and activity; then knowledge includes nothing which is not due to the effort of man, and there is nothing gratuitous about it, nothing "inspired", nothing "given" about it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

Happiness and joy are not the same. For what does the fervent craving for joy mean? It does not mean that we wish at any cost to experience the psychic state of being joyful. We want to have reason for joy, for an unceasing joy that fills us utterly, sweeps all before it, exceeds all measure.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

The inmost significance of the exaggerated value which is set upon hard work appears to be this: man seems to mistrust everything that is effortless; he can only enjoy, with a good conscience, what he has acquired with toil and trouble; he refused to have anything as a gift.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

The common element in all the special forms of contemplation is the loving, yearning, affirming bent toward that happiness which is the same as God Himself, and which is the aim and purpose of all that happens in the world.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

The happy man needs nothing and no one. Not that he holds himself aloof, for indeed he is in harmony with everything and everyone; everything is "in him"; nothing can happen to him. The same may also be said for the contemplative person; he needs himself alone; he lacks nothing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

Only those are called liberal or free which are concerned with knowledge; those which are concerned with utilitarian ends... are called servile...The question is... can man develop to the full as a functionary and a worker and nothing else; can a full human existence be contained within an exclusively workaday existence? Stated differently and translated back into our terms: is there such a thing as a liberal art?

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

No one can obtain felicity by pursuit. This explains why one of the elements of being happy is the feeling that a debt of gratitude is owed, a debt impossible to pay. Now, we do not owe gratitude to ourselves. To be conscious of gratitude is to acknowledge a gift.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

...the intemperately wrathful man is less obnoxious than the intemperately lustful one, while the immoderate pleasure-seeker, intent on dissimulation and camouflage, is unable to give or take a straight look in the eye.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Josef Pieper

Earthly contemplation means to the Christian, we have said, this above all: that behind all that we directly encounter the Face of the incarnate Logos becomes visible... Contemplation does not ignore the "historical Gethsemane," does not ignore the mystery of evil, guilt and its bloody atonement. The happiness of contemplation is a true happiness, indeed the supreme happiness; but it is founded upon sorrow.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

If in this supreme test, in face of which the braggart falls silent and every heroic gesture is paralyzed, a man walks straight up to the cause of his fear and is not deterred from doing that which is good -- which ultimately means for the sake of God, and therefore not from ambition or from fear of being taken for a coward -- this man, and he alone, is truly brave.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Josef Pieper

It is possible to pray in such a way that one does not transcend the world, in such a way that the divine is degraded to a functional part of the workaday world... then it is no longer devotion to the divine, but an attempt to master it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

A man who needs the unusual to make him "wonder" shows that he has lost the capacity to find the true answer to the wonder of being. The itch for sensation, even though disguised in the mask of Boheme, is a sure indication of a bourgeois mind and a deadened sense of wonder.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

The delight we take in our senses is an implicit desire to know the ultimate reason for things, the highest cause. The desire for wisdom that philosophy etymologically is is a desire for the highest or divine causes. Philosophy culminates in theology. All other knowledge contains the seeds of contemplation of the divine.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

... each gratification points to the ultimate one, and that all happiness has some connection with eternal beatitude. Some connection, if only this: that every fulfillment this side of Heaven instantly reveals its inadequacy. It is immediately evident that such satisfactions are not enough; they are not what we have really sought; they cannot really satisfy us at all.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

Material things have closed boundaries; they are not accessible, cannot be penetrated, by things outside themselves. But one's existence as a spiritual being involves being and remaining oneself and at the same time admitting and transforming into oneself the reality of the world. No other material thing can be present in the space occupied by a house, a tree, or a fountain pen. But where there is mind, the totality of things has room; it is "possible that in a single being the comprehensiveness of the whole universe may dwell.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Josef Pieper

Here we must take account of one of St. Thomas's conceptual distinctions, which at first seems like unnecessary caviling. It is the distinction between "uncreated" and "created" happiness. We have here something which, while not at all obvious, is nevertheless fraught with consequences for our whole feeling about life. Namely, this: what does indeed make us happy is the infinite and uncreated richness of God; but participation in this, happiness itself, is entirely a "creatural" reality governed from within by our humanity; it is not something that descends overwhelmingly upon us from outside. That is, it is not only something that happens to us; we ourselves are intensely active participants in our own happiness. Beatitude - Thomas is saying - cannot possibly be conceived as a merely objective condition of sheer existence. It is not a mere quality, not pure passivity, not simply a feeling. It is something that takes place in the alert core of the mind... Happiness is an act and an activity of the soul.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

The happy life does not mean loving what we possess, but possessing what we love." Possession of the beloved, St. Thomas holds, takes place in an act of cognition, in seeing, in intuition, in contemplation.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

...Enduring comprises a strong activity of the soul, namely, a vigorous grasping of and clinging to the good; and only from this stout-hearted activity can the strength to support the physical and spiritual suffering of injury and death be nourished.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 18 Sep

Josef Pieper

Only those are called liberal or free which are concerned with knowledge; those which are concerned with utilitarian ends... are called servile... The question is... can man develop to the full as a functionary and a "worker" and nothing else; can a full human existence be contained within an exclusively workaday existence? Stated differently and translated back into our terms: is there such a thing as a liberal art?

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

Now the code of life of the High Middle Ages said something entirely opposite to this: that it was precisely lack of leisure, an inability to be at leisure, that went together with idleness; that the restlessness of work-for-work's sake arose from nothing other than idleness. There is a curious connection in the fact that the restlessness of a self-destructive work-fanatacism should take its rise from the absence of a will to accomplish something.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

If God really became incarnate, and if His Incarnation can with justice compel man to change his life,then we have no alternative but to conceive of this Incarnation as something which is still present and which will remain present for all future time. ... What happens in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist is something for which all religions of mankind have exressed longing, dimly sensed was coming, and as a rule even prefigured- the physical presence of the divine Logos made man, and the presence of his sacrificial death, in the midst of the congregation celebrating the mysteries.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Josef Pieper

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

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

Repose, leisure, peace, belong among the elements of happiness. If we have not escaped from harried rush, from mad pursuit, from unrest, from the necessity of care, we are not happy. And what of contemplation? Its very premise is freedom from the fetters of workaday busyness. Moreover, it itself actualizes this freedom by virtue of being intuition.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Josef Pieper

The restoration of man’s inner eyes can hardly be expected in this day and age — unless, first of all, one were willing and determined simply to exclude from one’s realm of life all those inane and contrived but titillating illusions incessantly generated by the entertainment industry.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

Divine worship means the same thing where time is concerned, as the temple where space is concerned. "Temple" means... that a particular piece of ground is specially reserved, and marked off from the remainder of the land which is used either for agriculture or habitation... Similarly in divine worship a certain definite space of time is set aside from working hours and days... and like the space allotted to the temple, is not used, is withdrawn from all merely utilitarian ends.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Josef Pieper

Of course the world of work begins to become - threatens to become - our only world, to the exclusion of all else. The demands of the working world grow ever more total, grasping ever more completely the whole of human existence.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

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.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Josef Pieper

The "whole good" cannot be had, it would seem, without mustering all the strength of our inner life. Even in the sphere of external possessions there are goods which inherently demand, if they are to be truly ours, far more of us than mere acquisition. "'My garden,' the rich man said; his gardener smiled.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Josef Pieper

To be conscious of gratitude is to acknowledge a gift.