Every pupil you have carries in his mind or heart or conscience a bit of you. Your influence, your example, your ideas and values keep marching on - how far into the future and into what realms of our spacious universe you will never know.
The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence, in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song - but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny.
Undeserved praise causes more pangs of conscience later than undeserved blame, but probably only for this reason, that our powers of judgment are more completely exposed by being overpraised than by being unjustly underestimated.
The philosopher has to be the bad conscience of his age.
Demean thyself more warily in thy study than in the street. If thy public actions have a hundred witnesses, thy private have a thousand. The multitude looks but upon thy actions; thy conscience looks into them: the multitude may chance to excuse thee, if not acquire thee; thy conscience will accuse thee, if not condemn thee.
Conscience is the voice of the soul, the passions are the voice of the body. Is it astonishing that often these two languages contradict each other, and then to which must we listen? Too often reason deceives us; we have only to listen too much acquired the right of refusing to listen to it; but conscience never deceives us; it is the true guide of man; it is to man what instinct is to the body, which follows it, obeys nature, and never is afraid of going astray.
It is no certain evidence, that because the conscience feels the weight of sin, the heart is humbled on account of it; that because the conscience approves of the rectitude of the Divine justice, the heart bows to the Divine sovereignty.
Real goodness does not attach itself merely to this life - it points to another world. Political or professional reputation cannot last forever, but a conscience void of offense before God and man is an inheritance for eternity.
No matter! – so long as the world is the work of eternal goodness, and so long as conscience has not deceived us – to give happiness, and to do good, there is our only law, our anchor of salvation, our beacon light, our reason for existing. All religions may crumble away; so long as this survives we have still an ideal, and life is worth living.
Nobody can, even for the sake of unity, do violence to his conscience and to truth itself. Whoever in conscience feels obliged to understand the Word of God in a certain way cannot and may not declare he understands it otherwise.
Conscience is the spiritual, supernatural principle in man, and it is not of social origin at all. It is rather the perversion and confusion of conscience that is of social origin.
To live by the code of “do as you please regardless” is to become a prisoner of your own moral corruption. It is to be troubled by guilt and tormented by the inconsistency of living contrary to the demands of your own conscience and moral nature. You simply cannot be satisfied while ignoring any part of your nature.