Hope to see you there!
It is very much the fashion at present to regard the Saviour of the world in an irreverent and unreal way—as a mere idea or vision ... [offering] vague statements about His love ... [and] while the thought of Christ is but a creation of our minds, it may gradually be changed or fade away.
... when we contemplate Christ as manifested in the Gospels, the Christ who exists therein, external to our own imaginings, and who is as really a living being, and sojourned on earth as truly as any of us, then we shall at length believe in Him with a conviction, a confidence, and an entireness, which can no more be annihilated than the belief in our senses. It is impossible for a Christian mind to meditate on the Gospels, without feeling, beyond all manner of doubt, that He who is the subject of them is God; but it is very possible to speak in a vague way of His love towards us, and to use the name of Christ, yet not at all to realize that He is the Living Son of the Father, or to have any anchor for our faith within us, so as to be fortified against the risk of future defection.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Mat. 5:13)
They forget that all men are at best but learners in the school of Divine Truth, and that they themselves ought to be ever learning ... They find it a much more comfortable view, much more agreeable to the indolence of human nature, to give over seeking, and to believe they had nothing more to find.
Certainties, now, are in demand for the purpose of overcoming uncertainties with their accompaniment of anxiety ... [and yet] ... Uncertainty is the very essence of Christianity. ... "Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1)
The bond [of faith] is tenuous, indeed, and it may snap easily. The life of the soul in openness toward God, the waiting, the periods of aridity and dullness, guilt and despondency, contrition and repentance, forsakenness and hope against hope, the silent stirrings of love and grace, trembling on the verge of a certainty which if gained is loss—the very lightness of this fabric may prove too heavy a burden for men who lust for massively possessive experience.
[The things that become disenchanted] are the things that we have appropriated, legally or mentally. We say we know them. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
So You are the ChristYou're the great Jesus ChristProve to me that You're no foolWalk across my swimming pool
Belloc said, "Every argument is a theological argument." The reason modern Catholics build ugly, utilitarian preaching halls is because their theology has become Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism.
In other words, their Catholicism has simply become a religion of good works--helping people and now and again giving one another stimulating sentimental thoughts about a God who is out there somewhere.
This type of religion does not require a beautiful temple which is the house of God. It does not require a beautiful Bethel--the meeting place of God and Man.
It requires a big empty meeting space in which the folks gather to hear a pep talk about being nicer people.
Or am I being harsh?
What this course has taught me is the dangers of gay marriage and how we will all go astray unless we believe in God and how awful abortion is and what is this world coming to? and how people in the world are making huge mistakes and we will only be saved by being very careful and no wonder the world will end it's really awful.
Plato made a very important distinction between philosophers and philodoxers. A philosopher is a lover of wisdom (σοφια). He tries to align his views with what is true. As such, the philosopher is always engaged in a search (ζετεσισ), since he realizes that he has views are never as true as they could be. We will see him continually updating and revising his views as he comes to see the truth more fully.
The philodoxer, on the hand, is a lover of appearances (δοχα). The philodoxer doesn't care about being good; the philodoxer cares about appearing good, in the opinion of others. The philodoxer doesn't care if his opinions are true; he cares about whether others will approve of his opinions.
... unconnected to a concern with the truth. Her statement is not germane to the enterprise of describing reality. ... She concocts it out of whole cloth; or, if she got it from someone else, she is repeating it quite mindlessly and without any regard for how things really are.
Why should any part of Scripture afford permanent instruction? Why should the way of life be any longer narrow? Why should the burden of the Cross be necessary for every disciple of Christ? Why should the Spirit of adoption any longer be promised us? Why should separation from the world be now a duty?
There the quest of the ground has been formulated in two principal questions of metaphysics. The first question is, “Why is there something; why not nothing?” And the second is, “Why is that something as it is, and not different?”
In this questioning one keeps open one’s human condition and is not tempted to find cheap answers. ... That is reason: openness toward the ground.
Already Heraclitus knew three variants or nuances of the tension: love, hope, and faith.
... since every man participates in love of the transcendent Being and is aware of such a ground—Ground, Reason, or Nous—out of which he exists, every man can, by virtue of this noetic self, have love for other men. … “If I did not love other men because they also are an image of God, I would have no particular reason to love them because they are just horrible.” - Nietzsche
We still have of course, the quest of the ground; we want to know where things come from. But since God (in revelatory language) or transcendent divine Being (in philosophical language) is prohibited for agnostics, they must put their ground elsewhere. And now we can see, beginning about the middle of the eighteenth century, in the Enlightenment, a whole series of misplacements of the ground. The transcendent Ground is misplaced somewhere in an immanent hierarchy of being.
E.V.: Oh, by reading the classics, of course. That’s the purpose of education—you must have the masters at your fingertips.
Nobody is obliged to participate in the crisis of his time. He can do something else. … No one is obliged to take part in the spiritual crisis of a society; on the contrary, everyone is obliged to avoid this folly and live his life in order.
One should be aware that we always act as if we had an ultimate purpose in fact, as if our life made some sort of sense. I find students frequently are flabbergasted, especially those who are agnostics, when I tell them that they all act, whether agnostics or not, as if they were immortal! Only under the assumption of immortality, of a fulfillment beyond life, is the seriousness of action intelligible that they actually put into their work and that has a fulfillment nowhere in this life however long they may live. They all act as if their lives made sense immortally, even if they deny immortality, deny the existence of a psyche, deny the existence of a Divinity—in brief, if they are just the sort of fairly corrupt average agnostics that you find among college students today. One shouldn’t take their agnosticism too seriously, because in fact they act as if they were not agnostics!
By the year 1700, it became apparent that Europe was permanently divided into two camps, Catholic and anti-Catholic. In the only department that counts, in the mind of man, the effect of the religious wars and their ending in a drawn battle was that religion as a whole was weakened. More and more, men began to think in their hearts, "Since all this tremendous fight has had no result, the causes which led to the conflict were probably exaggerated. It seems, then, that one cannot arrive at the truth in these matters, but we do know what worldly prosperity is and what poverty is, and what political power and political weakness are. Religious doctrine belongs to an unseen world which we do not know as thoroughly or in the same way."
Say to yourselves and to your children… We must be clear about this. The world around us is not Christian. It is not even sanely pagan. It is quite mad and quite unhappy. …We can minister to them only by being sharply distinct. Those in the world…are longing for …the real language, which will restore to them the world’s lost beauty and goodness and point them towards what is beyond the world.
Q. "What would you have done differently 25 years ago when you began your career as an educator and a father, knowing, as you do now, how much the culture has decayed?"
|The church in a shambles. Cologne Cathedral, 1945.|
There have been many kingdoms before and since Christ came, which have been set up and extended by the sword. This, indeed, is the only way in which earthly power grows. ... But the propagation of the Gospel was the internal development of one and the same principle in various countries at once, and therefore may be suitably called invisible, and not of this world.
They who make self instead of their Maker the great object of their contemplation will naturally exalt themselves, Newman wrote.