Sunday, August 19, 2018

Here and There

  • Michael Liccione is blogging again, this time at Patheos. Highly recommended!

  • "A Nice Pair" - Paul Zummo (CrankyCon) reviews Jonah Goldberg's Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy and Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos. "It’s gratifying when a book you’ve been looking forward to reading lives up to lofty expectations. It’s even more gratifying when a book you read on spec turns out to be better than the hype."

  • John Courtney Murray via Rick Garnett):
    I suggest that the real enemy within the gates of the city is not the Communist, but the idiot. Here I am using the word "idiot" not in its customary, contemporary vernacular usage of one who is mentally deficient. No, I am going back to the primitive Greek usage; the "idiot" meant, first of all, the private person, and then came to mean the man who does not possess the public philosophy, the man who is not master of the knowledge and the skills that underlie the life of the civilized city. The idiot, to the Greek, was just one stage removed from the barbarian. He is the man who is ignorant of the meaning of the word "civility."
  • Defending Classical Liberalism - Vincent Phillip Munoz responds to Patrick Deneen's radical admonishment to be "suspicious of, if not hostile to, the liberal political project, including the American experiment in ordered liberty."

  • Schall at 90, tributes from the friends of Fr. James V. Schall.

  • The Dead End of the Left?: Augusto Del Noce’s Critique of Modern Politics, by Carlo Lancellotti. Commonweal 04/16/18:
    To Del Noce, the religious dimension meant that human beings are not reducible to sociological, economic, and biological factors. As Domenach had put it, “in man there is always something more.” To be human means to be able to raise questions of meaning that transcend our historical-material context—including religious questions.

    By insisting that the true fault line of contemporary history ran between those who affirmed man’s religious dimension and those who denied it, Del Noce offered an unusual perspective on Catholic participation in the public arena. He thought its focus should be neither on protecting the power of the institutional church, nor on some list of religiously neutral ethical concerns, but rather on a conception of human flourishing that reflects the religious dimension. This would include an idea of education that is not just utilitarian but respects the deeper human need for beauty and knowledge as ends in themselves; respect for work as an expression of the human desire to build and to serve, not just a tool at the service of profit and economic growth; love for what Simone Weil called “rootedness”—namely “the real, active, and natural participation in the life of the community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future”; a passion for freedom, not as empty self-determination, but as protection of the most specifically human sphere, which is precisely the religious dimension, the search for meaning. A Catholic political orientation based on the awareness of the religious dimension would also allow—and indeed require—us to struggle for justice, but the justice we struggled for would not be our invention, much less a convenient fiction. It would be a moral reality that we recognize inside and outside of ourselves and to which we must ascend.

  • Erasing Robert. E. Lee, by R.M. Stangler. The Imaginative Conservative 06/05/18:
    What a pity that a whole generation of students will know Robert E. Lee not as a complex man, not as a nuanced man, and not, like all of us, as a flawed man. They will know him only as the man who was erased…

  • A Review of “Malcom Muggeridge: A Biography” by Gregory Wolfe, by Jeff Culbreath:
    Generally speaking, modern people choose their religion so as to conform to the lives they are living. They believe as they live, rather than live as they believe. This attempt to quiet their consciences can seem like a brave act of individual liberty in a society that glories in religious pluralism. But in a more Christian age, men did not deny the incongruity of their faith with the follies of their own lives. They knew that truth wasn’t going to change to suit them, and they forced themselves to live with the tension in the hopes that one day they would reform. Malcom Muggeridge was this pre-modern type of man. He lived badly for many years, but God refused to permit him the illusions modern men seem to enjoy.

  • Pappy for the Pope: Kentucky priest delivers bourbon to Vatican, by Janet Patton. Lexington Herald Leader. 04/06/18. "Father Jim Sichko personally delivered a bottle of 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle to Pope Francis." Truly, a bourbon fit for a pontiff -- I sure hope he realizes it!

  • 9 rules for civility from the Catholic tradition by David A. Zubick. America 06/25/18:
    We all know that something is gravely wrong with our public conversation in the United States. The lack of civility is so pervasive that it is pointless to assign blame. We each have a responsibility to change the game, to treat each other better, particularly when we disagree. Catholic tradition has much to teach us about civility. ...

  • How to Not Receive the Eucharist Crisis 07/03/18. Most Catholics will, at some point in their lives, be unworthy to participate in the Eucharist. Acknowleding that "the Church used to have a better handle on this," James Healy provides some helpful pointers should you find yourself resisting the pressure to confirm rather than sinning against the body and blood of The Lord (1 Cor. 11:27-30).

  • Grace and the Grotesque: Flannery O'Connor on the page and screen, by John M. Sweeney. America 06/22/09.

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