“The part of Christian teaching that is most obscure to contemporary Christians and pseudos is the frequent reference in the Gospels to Demons, and Demonic inhabitation. Christ is Himself the source of this curiously unmodern “point of view.” Then Paul carries it the further nine yards. If you haven’t noticed this, you weren’t reading carefully enough. (Or maybe you haven’t read it at all?)” — David Warren, commenting on Magnet’s “See no Evil” re: my earlier post)
“Why am I telling you all this? Because I fear that, except for a few of us remaining graybeards and some immigrants from the world’s manifold tyrannies and anarchies, most Americans are too young to remember, even vicariously, the ills that the world can inflict and the effort it takes to withstand and restrain them. They have studied no history, so not only can they not distinguish Napoleon from Hitler, but also they have no conception of how many ills mankind has suffered or inflicted on itself and how heroic has been the effort of the great, the wise, and the good over the centuries to advance the world’s enlightenment and civilization—efforts that the young have learned to scorn as the self-interested machinations of dead white men to maintain their dominance. While young people are examining their belly buttons for microaggressions, real evil still haunts the world, still inheres in human nature; and those who don’t know this are at risk of being ambushed and crushed by it.” — Myron Magnet (in The City Journal – do read it all)
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
by Rudyard Kipling
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
“The conclusion to which I have found myself forced is twofold: first that what we are being offered [secularization, ed.] is not a reinterpretation of the Christian religion but a substitute for it, and secondly that the arguments offered, from whichever field of study they have been drawn, are quite unconvincing.” — E. L. Mascall
“Men despise religion; they hate it and are afraid it is true.” — Blaise Pascal
I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself…
I’m so old, I can remember when it was conservatives who saw Russians under every bed.
There, I said it.
“What, then, shall a Catholic Christian do, if some small part of the Church cut itself off from the communion of the universal faith? What else but prefer the health of the whole body before the pestiferous and corrupt member? What if some new infection goeth about to corrupt, not in this case only a little part, but the whole Church? Then, likewise, shall he regard, and be sure to cleave unto Antiquity; which can now no more be seduced by any crafty novelty.” — Vincentius of Lerin. The Doctrine of the Fathers
“The riddle of life is simply this. For some mad reason in this mad world of ours, the things which men differ about most are exactly the things about which they must be got to agree. Men can agree on the fact that the earth goes round the sun. But then it does not matter a dump whether the earth goes around the sun or the Pleiades. But men cannot agree about morals: sex, property, individual rights, fixity and contracts, patriotism, suicide, public habits of health – these are exactly the things that men tend to fight about. And these are exactly the things that must be settled somehow on strict principles. Study each of them, and you will find each of them works back certainly to a philosophy, probably to a religion.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age
“To say that the present is a time of change and upheaval, social, political and religious, is to state a truism so obvious as to invite ironic contradiction. The cataclysm through which we are passing is at once so vast in its dimensions and so profound in its penetration of individual life, that we may well shrink from looking to history for guidance on circumstances to which history itself affords no parallel. Yet it is no new thing for the established manners, customs and beliefs of men to be upset. In all such times of violent transition the same great problem of the reconciliation between old and new forces itself upon the judgement of mankind, and it should not be impossible to find in the lesser crises of the past principles of thought and action which may help us to deal with the gigantic perplexities of today.” — Oliver Chase Quick, Essays in Orthodoxy 1916
“Political ideals will vary according to men’s views on human destiny. Those who are persuaded that the purpose of life is pleasure, or power, or honour, will reckon that State best arranged in which they can live comfortably, or acquire great wealth, or achieve great power and lord it over many. Others who think that the crowning good of virtue is the purpose of our present life will want an arrangement under which men can live virtuously and peaceably together. In short, political judgment will be settled by the sort of life a man expects and proposes to lead by living in a community.” — St. Thomas Aquinas: Commentary on Aristotle’s ‘Politics,’ Book II, lect. 1.