signs of the presence of divine powers similar to those which had been given of old

It is the Feast of Stephen (in the West today and will be tomorrow in the East). This day commemorates the miraculous recovery of Stephen’s relics. Augustine of Hippo was particularly devoted to these relics. They were recovered in Augustine’s own lifetime and distributed to churches throughout the known world. Augustine writes in The CityContinue reading “signs of the presence of divine powers similar to those which had been given of old”

my life shall be a real life

Passages from Confessions (Book X) by Augustine of Hippo (including the passage from which Petrarch takes his inspiration in “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux” and also reminiscent in places of “Holy Sonnet XIV” by John Donne as well as “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins): These things do I within, in that vast chamber ofContinue reading “my life shall be a real life”

the world of words had a glamour and wonder

In reading The Classical Trivium by Marshal McLuhan, I’ve appreciate much about it, including his idea that the patterns of grammar are grounded in the patterns of the physical creation and that both the worlds of language and creation provide rich and myriad symbols pointing to “the creative Trinity” (36). See this passage for exampleContinue reading “the world of words had a glamour and wonder”

the world is like an oilpress

Thus the world is like an oilpress: under pressure. If you are the dregs of the oil you are carried away through the sewer; if you are genuine oil you will remain in the vessel. But to be under pressure is inevitable. Observe the dregs, observe the oil. Pressure takes place ever in the world,Continue reading “the world is like an oilpress”

what I live on

Speaking of Augustine, Wilken writes: Like all great Christian thinkers he consciously moved within a tradition he had himself not created. He was most comfortable with a page of the Bible open before him in a basilica in the midst of the community of faith to which he was accountable. The church fathers wrote “asContinue reading “what I live on”

they flash upon that inward eye

Petrarch, in his letter called “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux,” quotes a passage from book ten of Augustine’s Confessions: “And men go about to wonder at the heights of the mountains, and the mighty waves of the sea, and the wide sweep of rivers, and the circuit of the ocean, and the revolution of theContinue reading “they flash upon that inward eye”