There is no excuse for those who could be scholars and are not.

Study. Obedience: non multa, sed multum — not many things, but well.

You pray, you deny yourself, you work in a thousand apostolic activities, but you don't study. You are useless then unless you change.

Study — professional training of whatever type it be — is a grave obligation for us.

An hour of study, for a modern apostle, is an hour of prayer.

If you are to serve God with your mind, to study is a grave obligation for you.

You frequent the Sacraments, you pray, you are chaste, but you do not study. Don't tell me you're good: you're only 'goodish'.

Formerly, since human knowledge — science — was very limited, it seemed quite feasible for a single learned individual to undertake the defence and vindication of our holy Faith.

To-day, with the extension and the intensity of modern science, the apologists have to divide the work among themselves, if they want to defend the Church scientifically in all fields.

You… cannot shirk this responsibility.

Books: don't buy them without advice from a Christian who is learned and prudent. It's so easy to buy something useless or harmful.

How often a man thinks he is carrying a book under his arm, and it turns out to be a load of rubbish!

Study. Study in earnest. If you are to be salt and light, you need knowledge, ability.

Or do you imagine that an idle and lazy life will entitle you to receive infused knowledge?

It is good to see you put such determination into your study provided, of course, you put the same determination into acquiring interior life.

Don't forget that before teaching one must act. 'Coepit facere et docere,' the holy scripture says of Jesus Christ: 'He began to do and to teach.'

First, action: so that you and I may learn.

Work! When you feel the responsibility of professional work, the life of your soul will improve: and you will become more of a man, for you will lose your habit of 'picking holes' in everything.

Teacher: your keenness to know and practise the best method of helping your students to acquire earthly knowledge is undeniable. But don't forget that you must have the same keenness to know and practise the christian spiritual life, which is the only method of helping them and you to be better.

Culture, culture! Very good: let us be second to none in striving for and possessing it.

But, culture is a means and not an end.

Student: form yourself in a solid and active piety, be outstanding in study, have a strong desire for the 'professional' apostolate. And with that vigour of your religious and professional training, I promise you rapid and far-reaching developments.

You worry only about building up your knowledge. And what you have to build up is your soul. Then you will work as you ought — for Christ. In order that he may reign in the world, there must be some people who, with their eyes fixed on heaven, seek to acquire prestige in all human activities, so that they can carry out quietly — and effectively — an apostolate within their professions.

Your indolence, your carelessness, your laziness, are easygoing cowardice — so your conscience tells you continually, — but they are not 'the way'.

As long as the opinion you expressed was orthodox there is no reason to be upset, even though the malice of whoever heard you caused him to be scandalized. For his scandal is pharisaical.

It's not enough to be learned, in addition to being a good Christian. If you don't correct the brusqueness of your character, if you make your zeal and your knowledge incompatible with good manners, I can't see you ever becoming a saint. And despite your learning — because of it — you should be tied in a stall, like a mule.

With that self-satisfied air you are becoming an objectionable and repellent type, you are making a fool of yourself, and, what is worse, you are harming your apostolic work.

Don't forget that even mediocrities can sin by being pompous.

Your very inexperience leads you to that presumption, to that vanity, to all that you imagine gives you an air of importance.

Correct yourself, please. Foolish and all, you might come to occupy a position of responsibility (it has happened more than once) and, if you are not convinced of your lack of ability, you will refuse to listen to those who have the gift of counsel. And it frightens me to think of the harm your mismanagement will do.

Nonsectarianism. Neutrality. Old myths that always try to seem new.

Have you ever stopped to think how absurd it is to leave one's Catholicism aside on entering a university, a professional association, a cultural society, or Parliament, like a man leaving his hat at the door?

Make good use of your time. Don't forget the fig tree cursed by our Lord. And it was doing something: sprouting leaves. Like you…

Don't tell me you have excuses. It availed the fig tree little, relates the Evangelist. that it was not the season for figs when our Lord came to it to look for them.

And barren it remained for ever.

Those who are engaged in business say that time is money. That seems little to me: for us who are engaged in affairs of souls, time is… glory!

I don't understand how you can call yourself a Christian and lead such an idle, useless life. Have you forgotten Christ's life of toil?

'It seems' — so you say — 'as if every imaginable sin were awaiting the first idle moment. Why, idleness itself must be a sin!'

He who pledges himself to work for Christ should never have a free moment, because to rest is not to do nothing: it is to relax in activities which demand less effort.

Idleness is something inconceivable in a man who has the soul of an apostle.

Add a supernatural motive to your ordinary work and you will have sanctified it.

References to Holy Scripture
References to Holy Scripture
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