Theodor Haecker, Journal in the Night, tr. A. Dru, Pantheon, 1950, p. 172, entry #579 of 10 September 1941:
A year ago today the official propagandist, Fritsche, talking on the wireless, said of the bombing of London: 'Once upon a time fire rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrha, and there only remained seventy-seven just men; it is very doubtful whether there are seventy-seven just people in London today.' I already know many reasons why Germany will not win the war. Fritsche's speech is one.
Concluding punctilious postscript: I added a hyperlink to (Dru's translation of) Haecker's text. That bit of contextualization enriches and thus modifies the sense of his text. Worth noting if not worth worrying about.
The following is from Theodor Haecker's Tag-und Nachtbücher 1939-1945, translated into English by Alexander Dru as Journal in the Night (Pantheon Books, 1950), pp. 114-115.) I have made a couple of corrections in the translation. The following entry was written in 1940 in Hitler's Germany. The National Socialists seized power in 1933 and their 'one thousand year Reich' collapsed under the Allied assault in 1945. Haecker, a Christian, was bitterly opposed to the Nazi regime. Haecker's Journal provides keen insight into a dark time when an entire society went off the rails.
Theodor Haecker, Tag- und Nachtbücher, 1939-1945, hrsg. Hinrich Siefken, Innsbruck: Haymon-Verlag, 1989, S. 212:
Der persönliche und gute Stil eines Schriftstellers ist die — oft durch große Kunst erreichte — natürliche Einheit zweier Naturen — der Natur des Schriftstellers und der Natur der jeweiligen Sprache, in der er schreibt, denn diese beiden Naturen sind nicht identisch, und die Einheit ist meist nur durch gegenseitige Kompromisse zu erreichen. Es kann einer einen reizvollen persönlichen Stil schreiben, der nur sprachlich gesehen, schlecht ist, weil er die Natur der Sprache im allgemeinen und im besonderen vergewaltigt, und ein braver Schüler kann einen guten Stil schreiben, ohne etwas Persönliches zu verrraten. Der große Schriftsteller ist aber der, in dessen Stil beide Naturen eins geworden sind, die wieder auseinanderzulegen keinem mehr möglich ist.
Theodor Haecker, Tag- und Nachtbuecher 1939-1945 (Haymon Verlag, 1989), p. 115, entry of 4 October 1940:
Ich habe einmal einem Verzweifelnden den Rat gegeben, zu tun, was ich selber in aehnlichen Zustaenden getan habe, in kurzen Fristen zu leben. Komm, sagte ich mir damals, eine Viertelstunde wirst du es ja noch aushalten koennen!
I once advised a person in despair to do what I myself have done in similar circumstances, namely, to live in short periods. I told myself at the time: surely you can hold out for another quarter of an hour! (tr. BV)
Long before I read this Haecker passage, I had a similar thought which I expressed in the following aphorism:
Can you get through the next hour? The present can always be borne – if sliced thinly enough – and it is only the present that must be borne.
Theodor Haecker, Journal in the Night (Pantheon, 1950, tr. Dru), p. 29:
Many a man thinks to satisfy the great virtue of moderation by using all his shrewdness and bringing all his experience to bear upon limiting his pleasure to his capacity for pleasure. But simply by the fact of setting enjoyment as the end, he has radically violated the virtue.
A penetrating observation. What is the end or goal of moderation? Haecker is rejecting the notion that the purpose of moderation, conceived as a virtue, is to maximize the intensity and duration of pleasure. Of course, moderation can be used for that end -- but then it ceases to be a virtue. For example, if I am immoderate in my use of alcohol and drugs, I will destroy my body, and with it my capacity for pleasure. So I must limit my pleasure to my capacity for pleasure. And the same holds for immoderation in eating and sexual indulgence. The sex monkey can kill you if you let him run loose. And even if one's immoderation does not lead to an early death, it can eventuate in a jadedness at odds with enjoyment. So moderation can be recommended merely on hedonistic grounds. The true hedonist must of necessity be a man of moderation. If so, then the ill-starred John Belushi, who took the 'speedball' (heroin + cocaine) express to Kingdom Come, did not even succeed at being a very good hedonist.
But if enjoyment is the end of moderation, then moderation as a virtue is at an end. Haecker, however, does not tell us what the end of moderation as a virtue is. He would presumably not disagree with the claim that the goal of moderation as a virtue is a freedom from pleasure and pain that allows one to pursue higher goods. He who is enslaved to his lusts his simply not free to pursue a truer and higher life.