Archive for April, 2011
At a Good Friday mass this afternoon, I remembered a scene described in Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh, which I recently finished. One of the themes in the story is the extinction of a deeply flawed and aristocratic Catholic family, the Marchmains, living in England during the interwar period. Recounting the aftermath of the matriarch’s passing, Cordelia Marchmain (the youngest daughter), describes the closing of the family chapel:
After she was buried the priest came in—I was there alone. I don’t think he saw me—and took out the altar stone and put it in his bag; then he burned the wads of wool with the holy oil on them and threw the ash outside; he emptied the holy water stoup and blew out the lamp in the sanctuary and left the tabernacle open and empty, as though from now on it was always to be Good Friday. I suppose none of this makes any sense to you, Charles, poor agnostic. I stayed there till he was gone, and then, suddenly, there wasn’t any chapel there any more, just an oddly decorated room. (more…)
The only truth modern society seems willing to defend as objective is that there is no Truth. What I have seen and heard is that this precept is mostly used to justify ever increasing permissiveness of behavior and attitude at the expense of traditional morality; a false belief or sinful desire need no longer be justified on its perceived merits, but simply by dismissing the authority to claim that it is wrong against an objective standard of what is Good and True. In the video below, the ever awesome Michael Voris expands on this theme with his usual bluntness and clarity. Yes, the value of my witness is largely anecdotal, but by way of preface I want to add to what he says here that every single time someone has argued to me against the notion that Right and Wrong exist, it has been in order to exculpate themselves against responsibility for some existing or planned evil. I’ve said similar things myself in an earlier time; and so it should never be forgotten that this temptation, to take the knowledge and judgment of good and evil into our own hands, is the origin of every misery.
Perhaps this was how he eased his conscience. For the time being, all seemed to be going well. Jerusalem remained calm. At a later date, though, it would become clear that peace, in the final analysis, cannot be established at the expense of truth.
What is truth? Pilate was not alone in dismissing this question as unanswerable and irrelevant for his purposes. Today too, in political argument and in discussion of the foundations of law, it is generally experienced as disturbing. Yet if man lives without truth, life passes him by; ultimately he surrenders the field to whoever is the stronger.
Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Part Two