Two Road Diverged in a Yellow Wood . . .

Here’s a lengthy quotation from Vladimir Solovyov, the contemporary relevance or irrelevance of which you are welcome to ponder.

“Why, it will be asked, do I speak, with regard to the moral world, of the choice between two paths only? The reason is, that in spite of all the multiplicity plicity of the forms and expressions of life, one path only leads to the life that we hope for and renders it eternal. All other paths, which at first seem so like it, lead in the opposite direction, fatally draw farther and farther away from it, and finally become merged together in the one path of eternal death.

“In addition to these two paths that differ in principle, some thinkers try to discover a third path, which is neither good nor bad, but natural or animal. Its supreme practical principle is best expressed by a German aphorism, which, however, was unknown both to Kant and to Hegel: Jedes Tierchen hat sein Plaisirchen.[Every little beast has its little pleasures.] This formula expresses an unquestionable truth, and only stands in need of amplification by another truth, equally indisputable: Allen Tieren fatal ist zu krepieren. [Every beast is fated to drop dead.] And when this necessary addition is made, the third path – that of animality made into a principle – is seen to be reduced to the second path of death.’ It is impossible for man to avoid the dilemma, the final choice between the two paths – of good and of evil. Suppose, indeed, deed, we decide to take the third, the animal path, which is neither good nor bad, but merely natural. It is natural for animals, just because animals do not decide anything, do not choose between this path and any other, but passively follow the only one upon which they have been placed by a will foreign to them. But when man actively decides to follow the path of moral passivity, he is clearly guilty of falsehood, wrong, and sin, and is obviously entering not upon the animal path, but upon that of the two human paths which proves in the end, if not at the beginning, to be the path of eternal evil and death.”

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News Flash . . .

David Bentley Hart makes a perfectly obvious statement that is today not quite so obvious to those who learned otherwise in the course of their matriculation through the system of public education and most of the universities that await them upon graduation.

“The fidelity of the self to itself cannot be the ground of morality.”

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The ‘none’s…

The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the share of Americans who do not identify with any organized religion is growing. These changes affect all regions in the country and many demographic groups.

Source: America’s Changing Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center

In 1934 TS Eliot wrote Choruses from the Rock – a few lines from this poem came to mind after reading the Pew report:

But it seems that something has happened that has never happened before: though we know not just when, or why, or how, or where.
Men have left GOD not for other gods, they say, but for no God; and this has never happened before
That men both deny gods and worship gods, professing first Reason, And then Money, and Power, and what they call Life, or Race, or Dialectic.
What have we to do but stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards in an age which advances progressively backwards?

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A Sunday thought

“Such men as surrender religiously to the Church in its holiness and obey it humbly in its authority share in the Church’s freedom in full measure; for in their life the Divine Spirit lives and works, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Any other kind of freedom, which is not purchased at the high price of self-denial in faith and obedience, is counterfeit coin in the ethical world.” – Vladimir Solovyov

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“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” – Hillary Clinton (2015 Women in the World Summit keynote address)

Religious freedom advocates are flagging a mostly-missed moment from last week’s Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of same-sex…
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Self Confidence

“Self-confidence is inseparable from submission to the creedal order, and through that order, to the supreme authority expressed in that order. … Deep individualism cannot exist except in relation to the highest authority. No inner discipline can operate without a charismatic institution, nor can such an institution survive without that supreme authority from a relation to whom self-confidence derives. Without an authority deeply installed, there is no foundation for individuality. Self-confidence thus expresses submission to supreme authority.” – Philip Rieff

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Kill the Christians – BBC documentary

If only everyone in our (for the moment) comfortable part of the world could see this heartbreaking video. Please share it with others.

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A Sunday thought…

“The problem of the late-comers, that of excavating the living Son of God from sermon, book and example, from the sacred measures of divine worship, from the work of art, pious practice, custom and symbol, is difficult, certainly, but probably not more difficult than that of recognizing him in the son of a carpenter.” – Romano Guardini

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Stations of the Cross by Vonn Hartung

This gallery contains 1 photo.

My friend Vonn Hartung has painted a magnificent Stations of the Cross series — especially moving on Good Friday.

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The Left vs. Human Nature

“The Left does not like the idea of human nature. It tells them they are not free to do what they want. From a factual perspective, it tells them people do not change much, so the way things were in the past is mostly how they will be in the future. From a moral perspective, it suggests a standard for what is good other than satisfying desire, since it tells people to act in a way that fulfills their nature, or at least is suited to it.

“The Left does not like any of that and they have been very successful turning their dislike into accepted dogma.” – James Kalb

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