I do not remember much from my brief stint in an admittedly liberal seminary, but one thing I do remember was a professor who mentioned only in passing how ancient men were truly terrified of the darkness. Every night was a testing point of the strength of his soul. This comment was made only in a thrown away manner, but it stuck with me all this time.
Several years ago while visiting friends who lived at the time in Hot Springs, Arkansas, nurses both, we found ourselves taking a stroll down the quaint Bath House Row. In the course of our meanderings we found ourselves involved in a conversation regarding the matter of assisted suicide, personified by the then recent case of … Continue reading The Good Death
Today we continue our month long celebration of the poetic work of Professor Tolkien. We have looked at a somewhat random assortment of his shorter poems, and we have also had the sheer enchanting joy of reading the sublime madness of Tom Bombadil. Today, the theme is honor and lament. An astute reader of Tolkien … Continue reading Tolkien: Deep Roots Are Not Reached by the Frost
“Man’s relations with nature have been altered radically, have become indirect. The old immediateness has been lost, for now his relations are transmitted by mathematics or by instruments. Abstract and formalized, nature has lost all concreteness; having become inorganic and technical, it has lost the quality of real experience.
“I suspect that men have sometimes derived more spiritual sustenance from myths they did not believe than from the religion they professed. To be truly Christian we must both assent to the historical fact and also receive the myth (fact though it has become) with the same imaginative embrace which we accord to all myths.
“Why are the standards and demands so necessarily and readily applied to individuals, families, small groups, and personal relations, rejected out of hand and utterly prohibited when we go on to deal with thousands and millions of people in association?”
We Americans find ourselves at a most unique period in our short history. The vast majority of us live as if our way of life is sustainable, as if some things in fact do last forever, as if the empire will never, indeed can never fall into ruin. Know this: nothing lasts forever. The American materialistic … Continue reading Saint Augustine Among the Ruins