Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good Reading

Some favorite readings, of late:

The powers and principalities are no longer represented by uncouth tyrants like Stalin and Adolph, Mao and cannibals like Pol Pot and Idiot Amin: they are sophisticated patrons of the modern arts, faceless combines and congeries, publically held and traded, destroyers, like Shiva, of nation states and family farms, sponsors, like the old Caesars, of celebrity prostitution. And besides, we Older Sons know that the jihad is the new Assyria – a historical moment that calls not for the Arms of Cheney so much as for repentance, justice for the poor and creation, salvation for the fetus and embryo, the old and alien.

This plucked from the midst of Fr. Jonathan's latest, here.

It is difficult to say whether birth doles out to us an equal need for friendship. It most certainly does not dole out an equal capacity for it. Coleridge had both, and the need sometimes crushed the capacity. Dr. Johnson had the capacity. Jonathan and David apparently did. Horatio, never passion’s slave, proved he had it when he said, “you will lose this wager, my Lord,” and for it a sweet Prince held him in his heart of hearts. All of these and all the great friends that song and story bequeath to us knew well what another in that noble lineage understood: “No mind was so good that it did not need another mind to counter and equal it, and to save it from conceit and blindness and bigotry and folly”—so Charles Williams, again from The Place of the Lion.

On Friendship, by Jason Peters, here.

In so many areas of life today, it is obvious that our problems derive from our incapacity for self-governance, in the formal discipline of self.

What we need today is not a generation that is “spiritual, not religious.” I would argue that what is needed is the studied capacity to be “religious, not spiritual.” Let’s make that the new buzz.

Patrick Deneen, here.

1 comment:

Steve Hayes said...

Ah yes, the Older Son indeed.