"It is something of a modern habit of thought (strange to say) to conceive of the soul — whether we believe in the soul or not — as a kind of magical essence or ethereal intelligence indwelling a body like a ghost in a machine. That is to say, we tend to imagine the relation between the soul and the body as an utter discontinuity somehow subsumed within a miraculous unity: a view capable of yielding such absurdities as the Cartesian postulate that the soul resides in the pituitary gland or the utterly superstitious speculation advanced by some religious ethicists that the soul may ‘enter’ the fetus some time in the second trimester. But the ‘living soul’ of whom scripture speaks, as John Paul makes clear in his treatment of the creation account in Genesis, is a single corporeal and spiritual whole, a person whom the breath of God has awakened from nothingness. The soul is life itself, of the flesh and of the mind; it is what Thomas Aquinas called the ‘form of the body’: a vital power that animates, pervades, and shapes each of us from the moment of conception, holding all our native energies in a living unity, gathering all the multiplicity of our experience into a single, continuous, developing identity. It encompasses every dimension of human existence, from animal instinct to abstract reason: sensation and intellect, passion and reflection, imagination and curiosity, sorrow and delight, natural aptitude and supernatural longing, flesh and spirit. John Paul is quite insistent that the body must be regarded not as the vessel or vehicle of the soul, but simply as its material manifestation, expression, and occasion. This means that even if one should trace the life of the body back to its most primordial principles, one would still never arrive at that point where the properly human vanishes and leaves a ‘mere’ physical organism or aggregation of inchoate tissues or ferment of spontaneous chemical reactions behind. All of man’s bodily life is also the life of the soul, possessed of a supernatural dignity and a vocation to union with God."

David Bentley Hart, The Anti-Theology of the Body
The New Atlantis
2005

"The screen, for one, seems to encourage more skimming behavior: when we scroll, we tend to read more quickly (and less deeply) than when we move sequentially from page to page. Online, the tendency is compounded as a way of coping with an overload of information. There are so many possible sources, so many pages, so many alternatives to any article or book or document that we read more quickly to compensate. When Ziming Liu, a professor at San Jose State University whose research centers on digital reading and the use of e-books, conducted a review of studies that compared print and digital reading experiences, supplementing their conclusions with his own research, he found that several things had changed. On screen, people tended to browse and scan, to look for keywords, and to read in a less linear, more selective fashion. On the page, they tended to concentrate more on following the text. Skimming, Liu concluded, had become the new reading: the more we read online, the more likely we were to move quickly, without stopping to ponder any one thought."

Maria Konnikova
The New Yorker

This is consistent with my experience and is why I won’t use an e-reader. In fact, I print online pieces of any length to read them in paper-and-ink form.

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"In God alone is there primordial and true delight, and in all our delights it is this delight that we are seeking."

"In God alone is there primordial and true delight, and in all our delights it is this delight that we are seeking."

"And on the other hand, the material value is apt to undermine the manly character; so that it must be our work, in the issue, to examine what evidence there is of the effect of wealth on the minds of its possessors; also, what kind of person it is who usually sets himself to obtain wealth, and succeeds in doing so; and whether the world owes more gratitude to rich or to poor men, either for their moral influence upon it, or for chief goods, discoveries, and practical advancements. I may, however, anticipate future conclusions, so far as to state that in a community regulated only by laws of demand and supply, but protected from open violence, the persons who become rich are, generally speaking, industrious, resolute, proud, covetous, prompt, methodical, sensible, unimaginative, insensitive, and ignorant. The persons who remain poor are the entirely foolish, the entirely wise, the idle, the reckless, the humble, the thoughtful, the dull, the imaginative, the sensitive, the well-informed, the improvident, the irregularly and impulsively wicked, the clumsy knave, the open thief, and the entirely merciful, just, and godly person."

John Ruskin, Unto This Last (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

15 notes

"Brought up an atheist, he has twice failed to pass through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, the first step toward becoming a Catholic. The last time, he made the mistake of referring to ‘the cult of personality surrounding Jesus’. That didn’t go over big with the priest, who correctly suspected Wallace might have a bit too much skepticism to make a fully obedient Catholic. ‘I’m a typical American,’ says Wallace. ‘Half of me is dying to give myself away, and the other half is continually rebelling.’ Recently he found a Mennonite house of worship, which he finds sympathetic even if the hymns are impossible to sing. ‘The more I believe in something, and the more I take something other than me seriously, the less bored I am, the less self-hating. I get less scared. When I was going through that hard time a few years ago, I was scared all the time.’"

David Streitfeld’s 1996 profile of David Foster Wallace for Details. (via unapologetic-book)

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"Fasting means to accept an essential aspect of Christian life. It is necessary to rediscover the corporeal aspect of the Faith: abstention from food is one of those aspects. Sexuality and nourishment are among the fundamental elements of the physicality of man. In our time, the decline in the understanding of virginity goes hand in hand with the decline in the understanding of fasting. And these two declines have a single root: the present-day eclipse of the eschatological tension, that is, the tension of the Christian faith toward eternal life. Virginity and periodic abstinence from food are meant to testify that eternal life awaits us, indeed that it is already among us, and ‘the form of this world passes away’ (1 Cor 7:31). Without virginity and without fasting the Church is no longer Church, she is assimilated to her historical surroundings. This is why we must look to the example of our brethren of the Eastern Orthodox churches, great teachers — even today — of authentic Christian asceticism."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The Ratzinger Report

(Source: acatholicrose, via julie52792)

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Thursday (and Birthday) Verse — Federico García Lorca

******************

Cancioncilla del Primer Beso

En la mañana verde,
quería ser corazón.
Corazón.

Y en la tarde madura
quería ser ruiseñor.
Ruiseñor.

(Alma,
ponte color de naranja.
Alma,
ponte color de amor)

En la mañana viva,
yo quería ser yo.
Corazón.

Y en la tarde caída
quería ser mi voz.
Ruiseñor.

¡Alma,
ponte color naranja!
¡Alma,
ponte color de amor!

******************

Ditty of First Desire

In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
A heart.

And in the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale.
A nightingale.

(Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love.)

In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
A heart.

And at the evening’s end
I wanted to be my voice.
A nightingale.

Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love.

"If we become steel-hard, impenetrable, that would mean a loss of humanity and sensibility in dealing with other people. Seneca the stoic said: Sympathy is abhorrent. If, on the other hand, we look at Christ, he is all sympathy, and that makes him precious to us. Being sympathetic, being vulnerable, is part of being Christian. One must learn to accept injuries, to live with wounds, and in the end to find therein a deeper healing."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
God and the World

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