The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lewis on Reading Old Books

One of my favorite short pieces by Lewis about the necessity of reading Old Books


Monday, January 29, 2007

Kenya carjacking: 'Random attack'

My friend's roommate. That doesn't sound like much of a connection. I've talked to her on the phone and heard stories about her, but that's about it.

Yet that's close enough to bring home the horror of this situation.

Kenya carjacking: 'Random attack'

My friend's friend's mom taken away just like that for no reason. What has to happen to a person that they could shoot two women in cold blood because they didn't get out of their car fast enough. I honestly can't fathom it and I've been in counseling for violence.

Yet we do it a hundred times a year: fail to see people as somebody's mom or sister or son or father. We say "you fool". Dehumanization begins close to home.

Friday, January 26, 2007

So true...

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the highest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Christian Literature"

A few days ago a friend who's a lit teacher emailed me and asked me for my definition of "Christian Literature" (I taught World Lit for a a few years before going to grad school).

When I answered simply "Redundant!" she replied "Oh, that's helpful!"

Here's my reply:

I'm serious, I wasn’t kidding at all. The fundamental principle of Thomistic philosophy is that "All truth is God's Truth". And one of the fundamental doctrines of Thomistic philosophy is called the Transcendental Unity of Being which says that Truth, Goodness, and Beauty are all one with Being and just grasped by different aspects of humans. Truth is being as it perfects the Intellect, Goodness is being as it perfects the Will, and Beauty is being as it perfects the Emotions. Further, Saint Thomas says that the twin purposes of literature are to delight and instruct. Instruction pertains to Truth (including truth about what is Good) and delight to Beauty. So because literature of its essence pertains to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty and these are simply guises of being and God is YHWH, literature essentially pertains to the divine essence. Thus, "Christian Literature" is redundant.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sometimes Facebook Makes me Happy

Emily says, "Hellooooo Dougherty! I was just telling my boyfriend that the classes I had with you were straight out of Dead Poets Society -- kooky, unconventional, and real. I hope life is treating you well! ~Emily."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

C.S. Lewis on Creation and Evolution

"For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which modern archaeologist would accept as proof o fits humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say “I” and “me,” which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgements of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past. This new consciousness ruled an illuminated the whole organism, flooding every part of it with light, and was not, like ours, limited to a selection of the movements going on in one part of the organism, namely the brain. Man was then all consciousness."

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain. Chapter 5 "The Fall of Man."

Works for me.