One of my favorite books is a collection of excerpts from Bl. Columba Marmion’s letters. I have been reading it again recently, and was struck again by the following passage:
If you have delayed giving yourself to Our Lord, well! repair that by giving yourself to Him now without reserve, with great fidelity and great generosity. And never fear that your past faults and infidelities will prevent you reaching the degree of union that God intends for you; in an instant He can repair all that.
All of these children were between seven and twelve years old (except for Edward J., who despite his Kafkaesque outlook on life is listed as “under seven”).
Thus Alan Jacobs in a truly fascinating article on children’s Bibles. The children in question are participants in a sort of Platonic Dialogue on the Gospels with a 19th century transcendentalist. The Kafkaesque Edward J. says: “Death is necessary for any judgment.”
Christopher Zehnder has written an excellent post comparing Pope Gregory XVI’s anti-modernism and Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. I took a similar approach in my own appreciation of Laudato Si’, praising it for its clear eyed opposition to technocratic modernity. I did, however, also write that I thought Pope Francis ignored “some elements of Catholic Social Teaching that ought really to follow from his own position on human society as a part of the order of creation, and his rejection of technocratic liberalism.” What exactly are those elements that I think he ignores? An answer can be found in the concluding statement of the Symposium of the Roman Forum in Gardone in northern Italy, which I have just finished attending.
The main point is that it is necessary to insist on the integralist thesis. Universal brotherhood among men can only be founded on an explicit ordering of society to God. Pope Francis certainly wants to convert the world to God, but his silence on integralist themes in his teaching is counter-productive in this regard; it encourages the illusion that it would be sufficient for the Church be contributor to a sort of neo-Sillonist universal brotherhood not based on the subordination of natural society to the supernatural society of the Catholic Church. This is what The Lake Garda Statement argues with great force. The statement follows in full below. Continue reading