Josef Pieper Quotes

Enjoy the top 54 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Josef Pieper.

Josef Pieper Quotes

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.
— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

— Josef Pieper

Since we nowadays think that all a man needs for acquisition of truth is to exert his brain more or less vigorously, and since we consider an ascetic approach to knowledge hardly sensible, we have lost the awareness of the close bond that links the knowing of truth to the condition of purity. Thomas says that unchastity's first-born daughter is blindness of the spirit. Only he who wants nothing for himself, who not subjectively 'interested,' can know the truth. On the other hand, an impure, selfishly corrupted will-to-pleasure destroys both resoluteness of spirit and the ability of the psyche to listen in silent attention to the language of reality.

— Josef Pieper

The contemplation of revealed truth is a disturbing element in Christian philosophy though a very beautiful one, for it means that the framework of philosophy is widened, and, above all, it can never rest satisfied with the flat, one-dimensional "harmonies" of rationalism. That is the moment when a Christian philosophy, striking upon the rock of divine truth, foams and boils; and that is its unique privilege.

— 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.

— Josef Pieper

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

— Josef Pieper

Finally, it is no longer completely fantastic to think that a day may come when not the executioners alone will deny the inalienable rights of men, but when even the victims will not be able to say why it is that they are suffering injustice.

— 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.

— 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.

— Josef Pieper

Being precedes Truth, and ... Truth precedes the Good.

— 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.

— Josef Pieper

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