I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.
Tell me what you do with the food you eat, and I'll tell you who you are. Some turn their food into fat and manure, some into work and good humour, and others, I'm told, into God. So there must be three sorts of men.
The struggle between God and man breaks out in everyone, together with the longing for reconciliation... God does not love weak souls and flabby flesh. The spirit desires to wrestle with flesh which is strong and full of resistance. It is a carnivorous bird which is incessantly hungry; it eats flesh and, by assimilating it, makes it disappear.
When everything goes wrong, what a joy to test your soul and see if it has endurance and courage. An invisible and all-powerful enemy - some call him God, others the Devil, seem to rush upon us to destroy us; but we are not destroyed.
A weak soul does not have the endurance to resist the flesh for very long. It grows heavy, becomes flesh itself, and the contest ends. But among responsible men, men who keep their eyes riveted day and night upon the Supreme Duty, the conflict between flesh and spirit breaks out mercilessly and may last until death.