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Mark the Ascetic: “Whoever does not want to know the will of God”

20 August 2017

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“Whoever does not want to know the will of God is mentally walking a path next to a cliff, and easily falls with any wind. If he is praised, he is proud. If he is rebuked he is angry. If he eats pleasant food, he is drawn into bodily passions. When he suffers he weeps. When he knows something, he wants to show that he knows. When he doesn’t understand, he pretends to understand. When he is rich he puts on airs. When he is poor, he is a hypocrite. When he is full, he is bold. When he fasts he is vainglorious. When he is denounced he loves to argue, while he looks on those who forgive him as fools.”
St. Mark the Ascetic

Nicolás Gómez Dávila: “Modern man is a prisoner”

19 August 2017

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“Modern man is a prisoner who thinks he is free because he refrains from touching the walls of his dungeon.”

Nicolás Gómez Dávila

 

Francis Schaeffer: “”If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas”

18 August 2017

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“If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.”

Francis Schaeffer

 

 

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Fr. Bell: “the valley of a deserved humiliation”

18 August 2017

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“When the Church at last comes out from the valley of a deserved humiliation, it will find that it is held in small esteem, that it is poor and despised; but such an approach to a worldly world is the only one by which to persuade that world that there are better things to live for than the current wisdom has revealed. Such humiliation, embraced and not resented, is required if one is to draw mankind to God. That is the meaning of the crucifix, whereon hangs One whom Christians are at least supposed to worship. He died for truth, for God, to rise again in power. In the end men listen to Him, understand, worship Him; but to bring that about in the world of tomorrow Christians, like Christ, must again be willing to lay down their lives in defiance of the mores of the world. The future of the Church, under God, lies in no other hands than its own.”

Fr. Bernard Iddings Bell, The Atlantic Monthly, 1942

George Orwell: “Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

17 August 2017
Robert E. Lee's statue was removed from its pedestal May 19

Robert E. Lee statue being removed from its pedestal in New Orleans, May 2017

 

 

“Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don’t know with any certainty that any other human being shares my memories. Just in that one instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete evidence after the event – years after it.”

George Orwell, 1984, (Winston Smith speaking to Julia)

Fr. Bell: “The really alarming weakness in the Church’s present state”

17 August 2017

Fr. Bernard Iddings Bell

“The really alarming weakness in the Church’s present state is due to the slowness of the moral revival among the rank and file of the members. Despite protesting minorities, notwithstanding occasional leadership, the great mass of Christian people remain complacent, unaware both that the position of the Church in contemporary society is humiliating and that the cause of that humiliation is their own timid compromise with a secularism inconsistent with tenets the holding and advancement of which are the Church’s chief reason for being.”

Fr. Bernard Iddings Bell, The Atlantic Monthly, 1942

Fr. Bell: “Nobody likes the prophets much”

16 August 2017

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“Nobody likes the prophets much. But whenever the prophets are silent, the Church is first made powerless and then regarded, quite properly, as parasitic. The Church in a liberal and capitalist world has preferred popularity to prophecy. It is not surprising that now the Church discovers that “from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

If the Church is in any real sense to influence the world of tomorrow, it would seem that the Church must so reform itself that it can make a new and almost brutal proclamation of the ethics of Christ, with an authority born of belief that the way of life therein commanded comes straight from God. The ethics of Jesus, as one reads the same in the New Testament, as one finds it in the systematic formulation made by Christian moralists all down the years, is, to say the least, hardly to be twisted into consistency with the wisdom by which democrats, totalitarians, or what you will, would today build their various Utopias. One may deem it a true morality or a false morality; at least it is a different morality from that of the secularist. If men come to suspect that the secularist wisdom leads to little but insecurity, war, unhappiness, despair, they may just possibly conclude that it is the Christ who is the wise one. That happened several times in the days before we were born. But if they are to have that choice, the Church must continue to proclaim Christ’s way as of divine sanction, come weal come woe. That is its justification for being.”

Fr. Bernard Iddings Bell, The Atlantic Monthly, 1942