"The hedge [of hawthorns] formed a type of suite of chapels disappearing under the wall of their flowers heaped as on an altar; under them, the sun placed on the ground a grid of light, as if it had come through a glass window; their fragrance was as smooth and as clearly defined in its form as if I had stood before the Virgin's altar, and the flowers, so ornamented, each distractedly held its dazzling bouquet of stamens, fine and shining ribs of flamboyant style like those which in the church line the ramp of the rood-screen or the mullions of stained-glass windows and which bloomed into the white flesh of strawberry blossoms."
"At the time there was a claustral monk named Frere Jean of the Hashes, who was young, gallant, joyful, good natured, dextrous, bold, adventurous, thoughtful, tall, thin, with a capacious mouth, gifted in the nose, a great dispatcher of hours, quite an accomplisher of masses, a quick doer-in of vigils,--to put it in a nutshell, a true monk if ever there's been one since this monk of a world first monked out a monk; moreover, a cleric to his very teeth in matters of the breviary."
"There is nothing so true as that the frock and the cowl bring on the opprobrium, insults and derision of the world, just as, according to Caecias, the wind attracts clouds. The overwhelming reason is: because monks eat the world's shit, which is to say its sins, and like shit eaters they are consigned to their privies: those are their convents and abbeys."
"From the age of fifteen, dogma has been the fundamental principle of my religion: I know no other religion; I cannot enter into the idea of any other sort of religion; religion, as a mere sentiment, is to me a dream and a mockery."
"Science gives us the grounds of premises from which religious truths are to be inferred; but it does not set about inferring them, much less does it reach the inference;Mthat is not its province. It brings before us phenomena, and it leaves us, if we will, to call them works of design, wisdom, or benevolence; and further still, if we will, to proceed to confess an Intelligent Creator. We have to take its facts, and to give them a meaning, and to draw our own conclusions from them. First comes Knowledge, then a view, then reasoning, then belief. This is why Science has so little of a religious tendency; deductions have no power of persuasion. The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma; no man will be a martyr for a conclusion."
"A wise architect observed that you could break the laws of architectural art provided you had mastered them first. That would apply to religion as well as to art. Ignorance of the past does not guarantee freedom from its imperfections."
"Freudianism is much more nearly a religion than a science, inasmuch as the relation between analyst and patient has a great deal in common with that between priest and communicant at confessional, and such ideas as the Oedipus complex, the superego, the libido, and the id exert an effect upon the converted which is almost identical with what flows to the devout Christian from godhead, trinity, grace, and immortality."