FAKHRI MALUF
The Aphorist
Syriawide
Aphorism is a concise and often witty statement of wisdom or opinion.
The following aphorisms were found among Fakhri's papers.

No human act is supernaturally moral, unless it has as its ultimate end the attainment of the beatific vision. Only faith gives us a knowledge of the beatific vision, and only grace gives us a desire for it.

Whenever a man is happy, an element of the contemplative experience must be found in his happiness. Indeed, it is the constitutive element.

Morality is the direction of all our activity towards the attainment of true happiness. True happiness is supernatural. Its other name is salvation.

All happiness on earth is a foretaste of eternal life, as well as a preparation and an approach to it. Progress on the way to heaven is all the hap­piness possible on earth.

The contemplative experience is the secret of suc­cess in all active life: corporal works of mercy, preaching, teaching, and, above all, missionary life.

All the arts and art crafts, poetry, painting, music, building, farming, etc., must be at the service of faith, piety, beauty and virtue, and as such can only be genuine when proceeding from the fountainhead of a contemplative experience.

A man who can tell when he is happy, knows what a contemplative experience is.

Our Lord taught us, by His passion and death, that in this mortal life (in via), no amount of suffering, no, nor even death itself, could overcome or blot out the contemplative experience. Our Lady taught us that wisdom, purity, and beauty, crown the contemplative experience. St. Joseph taught us that the contemplative experi­ence ennobles work and labor. All the saints teach us that it makes all the saints.

Each and every existing reality, from the most extensive galaxy to the smallest bug, is a concrete trace of His attributes.

To seek the contemplative experience is virtue; to attain, guard and preserve the same is wisdom.

But what is a contemplative experience? And first what it is not?

I once thought the contemplative man to be a self-centered person, pensive, indolent, tempera­mentally silent (i.e., the quiet type), serious about all things (he must be serious about the one thing that counts), unsociable, insensitive to beauty, in­different to love, intellectual, moody, calculating.

A contemplative man or woman responds, not only enthusiastically, but ecstatically, to every reflection of the divine reality.

The contemplative person is joyful, enthralled, extremely responsive, overflowing with gratitude for his very existence, supremely alive and glad to be so, appreciative of things and persons, affectionate - but all his affections are ordered, namely, towards Our Lord and Our Lady first. (Disordered affection is sentimentality.)

The contemplative person is integral and whole - soul and body, mind and will and heart in all that he does. This is so because the contem­plative experience is a take over, a kind of rap­ture. A poetic philosopher said “Contemplation does not rest until it has found the object which dazzles it” (Konrad Wiess quoted by Josef Pieper). And while the higher the object that dazzles, the higher the grade of contemplation; still the contemplative must be found on all levels of experience, for all must become acquainted with the true nature of happiness.