In honor of the great philosopher’s impending 300th birthday (in 2013), a few choice quotes:

“The one whom the human race crucified was the Redeemer; as someone belonging to the human race, I for this very reason feel the need for a redeemer – never has the need for a redeemer been clearer than when the human race crucified the Redeemer. From this moment I will no longer believe in myself; I will not let myself be deceived, as if I were better because I was not tried as were those contemporaries. No, apprehensive about myself as I have become, I will seek my refuge with him, the Crucified One. I will beseech him to save me from evil and to save me from myself… I will not enclose myself in myself with this anxiety for myself without having confidence in him…”

“It was said of Christ that he would reveal the thoughts of many hearts, and this he did. How? Simply by proclaiming grace. He who proclaims the law forces a person into something. People try to hide themselves when faced with the law. But grace, the fact that it is grace, makes them completely unconstrained. Face to face with grace a person really learns to know what lies deepest within. Tell a child to do something – this does not mean the child does it, nor do you really get to know the child’s nature. No, but say, ‘You are free, you may do as you please’ – then you find out what lies deepest in the child.”

“But divinely understood to love oneself is to love God and truly to love another man is to help him to love God or in loving God.”

And I leave you with a prayer:

“Oh Holy Spirit, you who give new life, we pray for ourselves but also for all people. Here there is no want of capabilities, nor of education, nor of sagacity – indeed, there may rather be too much. But what is lacking is that you take away that which is corrupting us, that you take away our power and grant us new life. Certainly a person experiences a shudder like death’s shudder when you, in order to become the power in him, take power away from him. So, help us also to die, to die to ourselves… Oh Holy Spirit, take the reigns of our lives and rule us. May it be you that has the power.”