moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals

For gentleness requires, as Reimlers observes, that we learn to see that “the other person is ‘given’ to us in the sense that, prior to rules and principles of social morality, the presence of the other in our lives constitutes our responsibility. Moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange betweenContinue reading “moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals”

never looked at the water

They said of Sarah of blessed memory that for sixty years she lived on the bank of a river, and never looked at the water. From The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks by Benedicta Ward. (Compare to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. Both testify to the beauty and power ofContinue reading “never looked at the water”

How can the end of the world start in a place like this?

From Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The authors would like to join the demon Crowley in dedicating this book to the memory of G.K. CHESTERTON. A man who knew what was going on. Also regarding GKC, in the story, we have this at one point within Crowley’s stream of consciousness thinking: WhoContinue reading “How can the end of the world start in a place like this?”

heaven is reality itself

C.S. Lewis in The Great Divorce: Walking proved difficult. The grass, hard as diamonds to my unsubstantial feet, made me feel as if I were walking on wrinkled rock, and I suffered pains like those of the mermaid in Hans Andersen. A bird ran across in front of me and I envied it. It belongedContinue reading “heaven is reality itself”

attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity

Simone Weil on her birthday. First, from Gravity and Grace (1947): Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. …We have to try to cure our faults by attention and not by will. The will only controls a fewContinue reading “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity”

only lover of humankind

Every now and then I guess we all think realistically (Yes, sir) about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator—that something that we call death. …If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you getContinue reading “only lover of humankind”

we search for You in prayer

From a selection of prayers excerpted by Bishop Theophan the Recluse from the works of Holy Father Ephraim the Syrian: We search for You in prayer, O Lord, for all is comprehended in You. May we be enriched by You, for You are wealth that does not diminish with the changes of time. May YourContinue reading “we search for You in prayer”

transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful

How could she know what he had sanctified to that child’s mind with his stories, sad stories that had made them laugh. …As if all that saving and keeping their father had done was providence indeed, and new love would transform all the old love and make its relics wonderful. From Home by Marilynne Robinson.

more tracks than necessary

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind willContinue reading “more tracks than necessary”

true beauty is not the idea of the beautiful

David Bentley Hart (The Beauty of the Infinite, pp. 176-177): The harmony of Father and Son is not the absolute music of an undifferentiated noise, but the open, diverse, and complete polyphony of Father, Son, and Spirit. …The most elemental statement of theological aesthetics is that God is beautiful: not only that God is beautyContinue reading “true beauty is not the idea of the beautiful”