reading books is good but possessing nothing is more than anything

Icon of St. Macarius the Great with a cherub. (The one written more recently is in higher resolution and from this blog.) Saint Macarius, commemorated today, has many sayings collected. Here is one that should be a warning to me: Theodore, surnamed Pherme, had three good books. He went to Macarius, and said, ‘I haveContinue reading “reading books is good but possessing nothing is more than anything”

this image of Jesus made a contribution to the formulation of the founding principals and secular values of modern political philosophy

From Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture (chapter 11) by Jaroslav Pelikan: This controversy over poverty [following the life of Saint Francis] had some unlooked-for political consequences. Nothing would seem to be more otherworldly and apocalyptical, indeed downright idealistic, than the doctrine that because Christ, Mary and the apostles had practicedContinue reading “this image of Jesus made a contribution to the formulation of the founding principals and secular values of modern political philosophy”

the goal of the cosmos

As the goal of the cosmos, the Logos represented the hope that even the devil could finally be restored to wholeness in the restitution of all things—apokatastasis ton panton. And with the reformation of the world, humanity also shall be changed from the transient and the earthly to the incorruptible and the eternal. …All ofContinue reading “the goal of the cosmos”

it is precisely and solely this full community of persons throughout time that God has elected as his image

From That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation by David Bentley Hart: In his great treatise On the Making of Humanity, Gregory reads Genesis 1:26–7—the first account of the creation of the race, where humanity is described as being made “in God’s image”—as referring not to the making of Adam as such,Continue reading “it is precisely and solely this full community of persons throughout time that God has elected as his image”

the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest

Clearly a counterproductive multiplication of books: Hearing these things, despite the true knowledge which Nólemë had and spread abroad, there were many who hearkened with half their hearts to Melko, and restlessness grew amongst them, and Melko poured oil on their smouldering desires. From him they learnt many things it were not good for anyContinue reading “the books of their wisdom were multiplied as the leaves of the forest”

If you would find the newborn king

From the sermons of Meister Eckhart. Sermon One (Pf 1, Q 101, QT 57): Here, in time, we are celebrating the eternal birth which God the Father bore and bears unceasingly in eternity, because this same birth is now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says, ‘What does it avail me that this birthContinue reading “If you would find the newborn king”

a slave society which might be called either capitalist or Communist

George Orwell in “Second Thoughts on James Burnham” (1946): Chesterton predicted the disappearance of democracy and private property, and the rise of a slave society which might be called either capitalist or Communist.

a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory

Comments about secular modernity, Karl Marx, John Ruskin, classical liberalism, capitalism and nationalism from David Bentley Hart (in conversation with Jason Micheli) on Episode 230 of the Crackers and Grape Juice Podcast: David Bentley Hart— Once Upon a Time. This is my own transcription (used with permission but noting that all errors are my own): The wordContinue reading “a man who wanted to turn the whole world into a factory”

a man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society

A man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society, for he will tend to misunderstand everything that other people say or do, and remain blissfully unaware of the significance of many of the things he does himself. E. F. Schumacher in A Guide for the Perplexed.