Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rutler on the sturdy English of the Golden Age

"if I had been St. Martha speaking of Lazarus, I might say today: 'My brother who passed away is not well preserved,' but I prefer the sturdy English of the golden age of English: 'The sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh.'"

Fr. George Rutler, interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez entitled "Priest walks among the dead:  life as the best drama there is," National Review Online, 13 August 2010.

Chesterton on "the mistake of merely evolutionary introductions and prefaces"

"Monkeys did not begin  pictures and men finish them; Pithecanthropus did not draw a reindeer badly and Homo Sapiens draw it well.  The higher animals did not draw better and better portraits; the dog did not paint better in his best period than in his early bad manner as a jackal; the wild horse was not an Impressionist and the race-horse a Post-Impressionist."

G. K. Chesterton, The everlasting man I.i ("The man in the cave") ((San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 1993 [1925]), 34-35).  I was put onto this by A. N. Wilson, "Reindeer pictures," Times literary supplement, 30 July 2010, p. 5.

Sic et non

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare" (Jer 29:7, RSV).
וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת־שְׁלֹום הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה
וְהִתְפַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָהּ אֶל־יְהוָה
כִּי בִשְׁלֹומָהּ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָׁלֹום

“never seek their peace or prosperity" (Ezr 9:12, RSV).
וְלֹא־תִדְרְשׁוּ שְׁלֹםָם וְטֹובָתָם עַד־עֹולָם

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nichols on the re-conversion of England

"Re-Christianization needs a church that is not only doctrinally coherent (because an intellectual battle has to be won about Christianity's truth claims). It needs a church that also has a moral teaching, sacramental life and spiritual practice that in all respects are congruent with doctrine. Insofar as there is positive interest in religion today, it is mainly in what I would call a 'separated spirituality': a therapeutic, privatized religiosity ordered to individual soul-care which has very little to do with the faith and practice of historic Christendom.
"But if our theological anthropology (as orthodox Christians) is right, and human creatures are so made in the image of God that they are restless till they rest in him, we should expect that, even after ceasing to take seriously traditional expressions of the transcendent people will continue to feel the need for that other dimension, a need no substitute can ultimately satisfy.
"The typical contemporary response to this experienced need is to cultivate what have been termed 'self-expanding feelings,' possibly articulating these 'symbols borrowed from ancient traditions,' but without full commitment to the content of those symbols since the primary spiritual concern of late-modern or post-modern man is 'with his own states of mind.' . . . Such a mindset, I suggest, can only be awoken to real transcendence by a dogmatic Church offering serious catechesis. . . ."

Aidan Nichols, O.P., "An Anglican future in the Catholic Church," New directions 13, no. 183 (August 2010):  6 (4-6).