For Davis Aurini, who had a bad time of it last year. May all of your projects this year reach their conclusion.
On those who fail to complete a collaborative creative work:
There are some people on whom one can count:when they promise, they keep their word. Now every beginning is a promise, unless it is a piece of folly. Others give their word, swear by all they hold sacred, and nothing happens; you would think that they have some natural inaptitude for undertaking an obligation; you cannot bind them, and they cannot bind themselves; they are like running water.
People like that represent a morally inferior species; the intellectual who resembles them is not really an intellectual, his vocation has condemned itself. You who have the sacred call, make up your mind to be faithful. There is a law within you, let it be obeyed. You have said: "I will do this," do it. A case of conscience is before you: settle it to your honor; every unfinished work will be a reproach to you.
I see a cause of moral decadence in abandoning a project or an undertaking. One grows used to giving-up; one resigns oneself to disorder, to an uncomfortable conscience; one gets a habit of shilly-shallying. Thence comes a loss of dignity that can have no favorable effect on one's progress.
From Part IV of the chapter, "Creative Work"
From the book: The Intellectual Life
By A.D. Sertillanges, O.P.