“There is a secret gnawing certainty that tells us that in success there is always a residue of impurity, in victory always a residue of coarseness … that there is and can be complete purity only in misfortune, and that therefore historically the great and secret honor and glory are always the lot of the fallen.” …
Clio [the muse of history] does not concern herself with the vanquished, and if they appeal to history for vindication – as to the juster judgment of later generations – these naïve folk do not realize how powerless Clio is. She is concerned with results; and so she can “never do more than bring to light the suns that have set.”
— Hans Urs von Balthasar, quoting the French poet and essayist Charles Péguy
The first human, Adam, tells Dante that the tree in the Garden of Eden from which he and Eve ate was not a bad tree. It was good, as all creation is. The Fall resulted from violating God’s decree to not eat. A limit, only one, was placed for Adam and Eve to obey. And they, like we, could not abide it.
Happiness requires not getting everything you want.
Wholeness requires sacrifice.
Dante’s Paradiso Canto 24 lines 83-85
….You have assayed this coinage,
its weight and metal content, accurately;
now tell me if you have it in your (purse) possession.
Dante is being interrogated by St. Peter on the topic of faith. He has acquited himself well with words. Now St. Peter wants to know if Dante’s words mean anything, does he actually have faith himself.
But, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8
Posted in Blog
Tagged Dante, faith, reliance
The great misfortune is that the justice of men always comes too late. It represses or stigmatizes certain acts, without ever tracing these either higher or farther back than the person who has committed them. But our hidden faults poison the air others breathe, and what results in a specific crime was first a germ carried about by some unsuspecting wretch; without this principle of corruption, the full fruit of the crime would never have ripened.
– George Bernanos, from The Diary of a Country Priest: A Novel
The fourth Sunday of Easter is designated Good Shepherd Sunday and the readings reflect this theme. This past Sunday at Mass I was reminded of a short book, a pamphlet really, that I was given many years ago by a friend entitled, “The Song of Our Syrian Guest” first published in 1904. The story involves the recounting of a visit paid to an American family by a Syrian friend who tells of his people’s long experience tending sheep in the Near East while reflecting on the 23rd Psalm. I discovered that this text is now available as a public domain electronic edition which I offer for your edification here:
(Note: If you click on the hyperlinked text “The Song of Our Syrian Guest” in the lower left-hand part of the book display frame you will be taken to a full screen readable version of the text.)
The shabbiest tuppeny doll will rejoice a baby’s heart for half the year, but your mature gentleman’ll go yawning his head off at a five-hundred franc gadget. And why? Because he has lost the soul of childhood. Well, God has entrusted the Church to keep that soul alive … Joy is in the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share. Whatever you did against the Church, has been done against joy.
the Curé de Torcy from George Bernanos’ The Diary of a Country Priest: A Novel