All the following want for grace: the poet, who calls it inspiration; the philosopher, who calls it idea; the statesman, who calls it sure eyesight or firm hand; the man of war, who calls it boldness or impetus. Grace appears all of a sudden even to the humblest of men you can imagine, who is so much oppressed by tedium that he sometimes does not know how to get through it. It appears perhaps in the form of a sun ray, or a landscape fresh with verdancy and dew, which infuses new joy and love of life. Who, except for someone vain — and even this only in his empty words — could ever ‘do it alone’ and renounce the assistance of grace?
Benedetto Croce, as quoted in As If God Existed: Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy, by Maurizio Viroli, (Princeton University Press, 2012).