sábado, 12 de agosto de 2017

The value of realism, especially if we are engaged in making a new Catholic culture...

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Essays of the Week

by Mark Malvasi
Early in the history of the United States learning came to be associated with useless pursuits—at best a mere adornment to the serious business of life, at worst an unaffordable luxury or a thoroughgoing impediment. Intellectual excellence often isolated its beneficiaries, depriving them of the common touch and placing them at a conspicuous disadvantage. But if learning has bred arrogance and condescension, it has also encouraged a humility of mind and a discipline of the soul. Such an awareness may yet prompt skeptics to reconsider the life of the mind, viewing it not as a menace but as a complement to character, practicality, and common sense…

by James Patrick Reid
The world, simultaneously internal and external, springs into existence from God’s creative act, an ongoing, sustaining and providential act. “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” Art is true to nature, and enlarges us with its beauty, when it draws strength and freshness from contact with this mystery. Art can be a sort of sacrament of the visible, effecting in itself the transfiguration of the world which it signals, and manifesting this to transform our attentive senses, hearts, and minds. For art to thrive, the public ought to be taught how to see and appreciate the deep workings of form in masterpieces, while artists strive to recover the perennial and universal tradition... 

The Key to John Adams’ Political Principles

by John Paynter
As a political writer, John Adams is most remembered today for the constitutional prescriptions by which he helped to solidify the American Revolution. To uncover his reasoning as to why a certain arrangement of power is necessary to the securing of liberty, the student of Adams’ thought must turn to his last published and least studied writings, the three-volume Defence of American Constitutions and one volume of Discourses on Davila. In these works, he set before his audience “fairly, fully and impartially” the true principles of republican government as he had come to understand them from careful study of “human nature, society, and universal history.” Of all of Adams’ published writings, then, these last works provide an especially fruitful resource for an inquiry into his deepest political reflection...

Enchantment, Realism, and the Imagination

by Glenn Arbery
Longing for the enchanted world underlies the poetic imagination, and it informs the work of writers like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis who imagine an alternative realm protected from “the light of common day.” Readers dwell in a space where wonderful beings and deeds fill the mind, where metaphysical evil undeniably exists, where heroism and cowardice are real, where grace and light are unmistakable. Their work satisfies a great need, especially for young readers, who bring to the real world some shining remnant of heroic expectation. But it’s the light of common day that we inhabit, and I want to say a little about the value of realism in the imaginative realm, especially if we are engaged in making a new Catholic culture... 

T.S. Eliot’s “The Fire Sermon”: Of Memory & Salvation

by Nayeli Riano
T.S. Eliot reminds us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we pass and inhabit, the music we listen to—but that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive in our tradition. Without a collective memory, all we have are fragments to “shore against” our ruins. Memory to Eliot, then, is the salvation that we need. As memory is what saves man from depravity and loneliness, so reading the texts of time helps to keep our memory (and therefore ourselves) afloat in a sea of unknowing. There is an effect that comes from reading that taps into our sensory experience, which permits it to echo into the chambers of our memory... 

by Brittany Guzman
Don Quixote teaches the reader how to live as a better Christian. He teaches us to look deeper to find the good in those whom society has cast aside, to be critical of corrupt religious practices, and to help our fellow-man in distress. In studying Don Quixote, we remind ourselves to discern the truth because appearances are often deceiving. Imitating Don Quixote, we can then carry our own type of lance that will slash through the veil of assumptions that blinds us. Our faith requires that we rely on God to guide us to see another, more truthful, level of existence, even if others may think we are mad to do so... 


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