Snow in Easter Week

After warm spring weather, the countryside here was confirming the words of the Easter processional “For indeed, after hellish sorrows, to the triumphing Christ: / grove with green and buds with flower, everywhere give laud.” (Namque triumphanti post tristia Tartara Christo / undique fronde nemus, gramina flore favent.) But now heavy snows have fallen, destroying flowers and breaking branches off flowering trees.

 

The Mirror of the Benedict Option

The Josias

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (New York: Sentinel, 2017).

One of the great sorrows that I encounter as a priest is the sorrow of parents whose children have abandoned the Faith. Their sorrow can be more bitter even than the sorrows of those parents who suffer the fata aspera of having to bury their children. To have given the gift of life, only to see that gift taken too soon, and to be able to give only the “unavailing gift” of funeral flowers, is a bitter fate indeed. But for those who have come to believe that true life is the eternal life of Christ, it is still more bitter to have brought a child to the waters of Baptism, hoping for that child to receive a share in the inheritance of infinite bliss, only to see that child trade the infinite…

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IT WERE BETTER FOR HIM HAD HE NEVER BEEN BORN

Sancrucensis

“The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24) These words, even applied though it is Judas to whom they are applied, are astonishingly harsh, and yet they are not only applicable to Judas. Jerome writes, “it is better not to be, than to be in evil.” And, as Guardini writes, this could apply to any of us:

Aren’t there many days in our lives on which we sell him, against our best knowledge, against our most sacred feeling, in spite of duty and love, for some vanity, or sensuality, or profit, or security, or some private hatred or vengeance? Are these more than thirty pieces of silver? We have little cause to speak of “the traitor”…

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Desire, Deicide, and Atonement: René Girard and St. Thomas Aquinas

Sancrucensis

Before Easter I was invited to give a mini-course on soteriology as part of Duc in altuma series organized by the Loretto, an Austrian lay movement, and the Community of St. John. I had just been studying the beginning of the Prima Secundae, and I was struck by how important the teaching on the final end was for understanding the nature of sin, and therefore of salvation. A little earlier I had been arguing with Facebook Girardians on TNET about René Girard, and so I decided to write the following essay atonement, and desire, and Girard. A printable version can be found here.


Human action begins with the good. The good is the cause of all desiring, wanting, or willing without which there is no human action. The goodness or evil of human actions can only be understood in the light of the good that is their end. And so…

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Bonum Prolis II: Scheeben on the espousal of Our Lady to S. Joseph

Sancrucensis

41virgin

One of the texts in which S. Thomas brings up the concept of “bonum prolis” discussed in my last post is in an article of the Commentary on the Sentences [lib. 4, d. 30, q. 2], in which he shows that the marriage between Our Lady and S. Joseph was a perfect marriage. Matthias Joseph Scheeben quotes this passage as part of his proof that not only is the Our Lady’s marriage to S. Joseph a valid marriage, but it is the most perfect marriage, lacking none of the essential goods of marriage, though of course its virginal nature meant that these goods were possessed in a unique way. Here is a rough translation of the key part of Scheeben’s proof:

It is clear […] that this marriage exceeds all other marriages not only in sanctity and dignity, but in its very perfection as marriage, namely in regard to the…

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The Mists of Political Economy

“Of course it’s complicated,” continued Arthur, “but when you come to look into it it comes out clear enough. It is one of the instances of the omnipotence of capital. Parliament can do such a thing, not because it has any creative power of its own, but because it has the command of unlimited capital.” Mr. Wharton looked at him, sighing inwardly as he reflected that unrequited love should have brought a clear-headed young barrister into mists so thick and labyrinths so mazy as these. (Trollope, The Prime Minister)

Links R & C 10

Recent

Aelianus, Vicus in the De RegnoLaodicea.

Artur Rosman, Alt-Right Bête Noire Milo Yiannopoulos is an Aquinas-quoting Catholic Cosmos the in Lost.

Bre Payton, A Disabled Lawmaker Speaks Out About Abortion: ‘People Like Me’ Are Facing ExtinctionThe Federalist.

Matthew Schmitz, Waiting For a Young PopeFirst Things.

Rick Yoder, The Young Pope: The Second Coming of Brideshead Revisited? Cosmos the in Lost.

Swapna Krishna, Thieves Rappelled Into a London Warehouse in Rare Book Heist ReadThe Smithsonian: «…investigators theorize that a wealthy collector known as “The Astronomer” may have hired the thieves to steal the books for him.»

Classic

20o2: Chris Charles, Nostradamus: It’s EnglandBBC Sport Online: «Nostradamus was very serious about the World Cup. As far as England’s group games go, the great man suggests Eriksson will feel torn between his adopted country and the nation of his birth, but will eventually lead his new team to glory against Sweden. And here’s what he actually said: “Pope of Rome, be careful about coming close to the city that two rivers shall water. “There you have come to spit your blood. Thou and thine when the rose shall flower.” Pope of Rome, of course, translates as former Lazio boss, the two rivers represent England and Sweden and the flowering rose symbolises an English victory.»

2008: Richard Whittall, Confessions of a Guardian Football Weekly Podcast AddictThe Run of Play.

2015: Helen Andrews, AA EnvyThe Hedgehog Review.

Sancrucensia

2010: Per Evangelica Dicta.

 

 

Anti-Acknowledgments

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From Steven Moore’s The Novel, An Alternative History: 1600-1800

Steven Moore’s anti-acknowledgements remind me of something Belloc writes in the incomparable Preface to The Path to Rome:

Now there is another thing book writers do in their Prefaces, which is to introduce a mass of nincompoops of whom no one ever heard, and to say ‘my thanks are due to such and such’ all in a litany, as though any one cared a farthing for the rats! If I omit this believe me it is but on account of the multitude and splendour of those who have attended at the production of this volume.