Category Archives: The Faith

Unthinkable?

“IN a word, the world does not explain itself, and cannot do so merely by continuing to expand itself. But anyhow it is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything.” — G.K. Chesterton: St. Thomas Aquinas, Chap. VII─The Permanent Philosophy.

Our House

“We’re not living in a two-story house with us on the bottom floor and God upstairs and that’s it. Far more realistic is to realize that we’re living in a skyscraper and that there are who knows how many dimensions of creation above us.” — Mark Shea, at Archindy.org

Men Have Forgotten God

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God. — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Miracles (again)

“‘And I dare say the first time you saw a man raised from the dead you might think so too.’ He giggled unconvincingly behind the smiling mask. ‘Oh, it’s funny, isn’t it? It isn’t a case of miracles not happening—it’s just a case of people calling them something else. Can’t you see the doctors round the dead man? He isn’t breathing any more, his pulse has stopped, his heart’s not beating: he’s dead. The somebody gives him back his life, and they all—what’s the expression?—reserve their opinion. They won’t say it’s a miracle, because that’s a word they don’t like. Then it happens again and again perhaps—because God’s about on earth—and they say: these aren’t miracles, it is simply that we have enlarged our conception of what life is. Now we know you can be alive without pulse, breath, heart-beats. And they invent a new word to describe that state of life, and they say science has disproved a miracle.’ He giggled again. ‘You can’t get round them.’” — Graham Greene The Power and the Glory

Courtesy of William M. Briggs – Statistician to the Stars

The Enlightenment contra Grace

“The Enlightenment is always wrong, because its ultimate goal is to expose. Grace, by contrast, is founded on truth, because it covers a multitude of sins. What God once and for all does not wish to know should never become the object of human knowledge and investigation.” — Hans Urs von Balthasar

Once again, courtesy of David Warren

Beware!

“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own, a God who is all mercy, but not just—a God who is all love, but not holy—a God who has a Heaven for everybody, but Hell for none—a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a god is an idol of your own, as true an idol as was ever moulded out of brass or clay. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and besides the God of the Bible there is no god at all.” — The Right Reverand John C. Ryles, Bishop of Liverpool (1880-1900)

The Head Comes Loose…

One character I think of — having known a long time — provides an especially poignant example. Long ago I suspected there was something wrong with him. He was “on my side,” but I could never trust him. And this because, he always thought ahead. “He has more brains than he can handle,” I once said of him. A very full head and a rather empty chest. He had no spiritual anchor, no faith beneath his clouds. His principles were mere thoughts: fluff passing over. Even his religious views were “solidly pragmatic,” i.e. easily revised. He could not understand even his own body, because he was all brain. His views were in a constant state of “evolution”: becoming ever more titched.

The head comes loose, when the heart is not screwed in.

Again from David Warren’s Essays in Idleness.

Septuagesima

“It will be one of the confusions of the damned to see that they are condemned by their own reason, by which they claimed to condemn the Christian religion.” — Pascal, Pensée #562.

“A new species of philosopher is appearing; I venture to baptize these philosophers with a name not without danger in it. As I divine them, as they let themselves be divined—for it pertains to their nature to want to remain a riddle in some respects—these philosophers of the future, in many respects, might rightly, but perhaps also wrongly, be described as attempters. This name itself is in the end only an attempt, and, if you will, a temptation.” — Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, #42.

Seen at The Catholic World Report linked from David Warren’s Essays in Idleness.

On Discipline

David Warren’s “Essays in Idleness” blog is usually at least amusing or interesting, and not uncommonly thought provoking. I don’t know him personally, but I have the feeling that he’d be somewhat uncomfortable being described as “profound”, so I won’t do so. Today, he’s at least worth quoting:

“A lot of time has been wasted by busybodied fools arguing that someone other than Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare; that someone other than Homer wrote Homer. (“Another poet of that generation who happened to have the same name.”) The time would be better spent reading such authors. The same is true, generally, of the Church Fathers: better to read them in their breadth, and not with a view to pursuing small vexatious points — inevitably to factional ends.”

Do yourself a favor and read the entire article here