Today is the birthday of the late, great Townes Van Zandt.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
Life stand still here, Mrs. Ramsay said.
One might, as well, consider this Lenten period as a period of descent. For one, it can be a period of our more frequently descending with our minds into our hearts in silent prayer, into prayer as communion with Christ. It is also a descent into our partaking of His kenosis, His emptying, His self-sacrifice that occasions our healing. Lent, therefore, becomes a salutary means of our dying to mindless habits, our dying to soul-scattering distractions, our dying to life-inhibiting illusions. It becomes a season of greater deliberation, and a recovery of our sense of the invisible Love in whom we live and move and have our being, even when we don’t take notice. Great Lent is the Church’s way of assisting our taking notice.
We die for a season, and then we live, live with greater awareness, and live more fully. So they say, and so I gather."
"[David L.] Schindler is a relentlessly metaphysical philosopher. Over the last four decades he has developed a distinctive view of being, and it is in these metaphysical reflections that his theology of culture is based.
"To live well, Schindler argues, is to live in a way that is proper to our being. Conversely, when a misapprehension of being structures our thinking and actions, we experience unhappiness, brokenness, and poverty in its deepest sense—the absence of meaning. He believes that the modern liberal project from Descartes to Rawls is based on a radical misunderstanding of the nature of reality.
"Specifically, liberalism fails to apprehend that ‘love is the basic act and order of things.’ Love brings all there is into existence, it is through love that all there is continues in existence, and it is for love that all things exist. Reality is in this sense triadic: all things are in, through, and for love. Being might therefore be said to be an order or ‘logic’ of love.
"The Christian story itself implies this metaphysics, but Schindler emphasizes that once disclosed by the events central to Christianity, the nature of being is in principle accessible to reason. There is no fideism at work here, but there is a different understanding of reason than the one that informs modern “rationality,” including the neo-Thomist version. In Schindler’s account of reason—one shared by Popes Benedict and John Paul II—faith does not narrow reason, nor does faith exist alongside reason as something “added” to it from without. Rather, faith enlarges reason from within, helping it to function better precisely as reason.
"As you might imagine, understanding reality as an order of love has profound implications. Among these are that being is a gift, and our proper response to being is in the first place one of receptivity and gratitude. If we do not respond to the cosmos in this way, it is because in some sense we have been ‘coached out of it’—by our culture, perhaps, or by our own choices and habits. Another implication of the idea of being-as-love is that being is intrinsically relational, not individualistic. The individual is real, to be sure, but included within individuality, and lying at its core, is relationality—to God, to whom the individual is constitutively related as a created thing is to its creator, and to others, to whom the individual is related through a common relationship to God.
"In short, neither receptivity nor relationality are concepts that we can ‘add on,’ even in abstraction, to a self-subsisting, non-related individual of the sort imagined by liberal thinkers. Ontologically speaking, before he is anything else the person is a gift and exists in relation. Receptivity, rooted in giftedness, and relationality are constitutive of the human being, and indeed of all being."
From ‘Philosopher of Love’ by Jeremy Beer
The American Conservative
"We are, I know not how, double in ourselves, so that what we believe we disbelieve, and cannot rid ourselves of what we condemn."
"The faintness of the voice was pitiable and dreadful. It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it. Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that it affected the senses like a once beautiful colour faded away into a poor weak stain. So sunken and suppressed it was, that it was like a voice underground. So expressive it was, of a hopeless and lost creature, that a famished traveller, wearied out by lonely wandering in a wilderness, would have remembered home and friends in such a tone before lying down to die."
A Tale of Two Cities - Book the First: Recalled to Life - Chapter 6: The Shoemaker
"Anyone who knows the inner reality of Catholic life is well aware that at the retail level, there’s always a sort of negotiation that goes on between what the rules say and what actually happens. It’s not about hypocrisy or disobedience, but adapting universal norms to the infinite complexity of real-life human situations. I was once at a talk given by a senior Vatican official when a questioner said he had a sin he wasn’t ready to confess but still felt drawn to receive Communion, even though the rules say he shouldn’t. “The law of the church is clear,” the official responded. “You have to go to confession first.” Then the official said, “But now let me talk to you person to person. As a priest, I can’t substitute my conscience for yours. I can’t tell you to go or not to go. You have to make that choice in conscience, always bearing in mind that it must be a well-formed conscience.”"
Economy in practice, not in theology.(via pegobry)
"Humility and charity are the two main parts of the spiritual edifice. One is the lowest and the other the highest, and all the others depend on them. Hence, we must keep ourselves well founded in these two, because the preservation of the entire edifice depends on the foundation and the roof."
St. Francis de Sales
against the wall, the firing squad ready.
then he got a reprieve.
suppose they had shot Dostoevsky?
before he wrote all that?
I suppose it wouldn’t have
there are billions of people who have
never read him and never
but as a young man I know that he
got me through the factories,
past the whores,
lifted me high through the night
and put me down
in a better
even while in the bar
drinking with the other
I was glad they gave Dostoevsky a
it gave me one,
allowed me to look directly at those
in my world,
death pointing its finger,
I held fast,
an immaculate drunk
sharing the stinking dark with