A few selections worth noting:
At Easter, on the morning of the first day of the week, God said once again: “Let there be light”. The night on the Mount of Olives, the solar eclipse of Jesus’ passion and death, the night of the grave had all passed. Now it is the first day once again – creation is beginning anew. “Let there be light”, says God, “and there was light”: Jesus rises from the grave. Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies. The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and himself becomes God’s pure light. But this applies not only to him, not only to the darkness of those days. With the resurrection of Jesus, light itself is created anew. He draws all of us after him into the new light of the resurrection and he conquers all darkness. He is God’s new day, new for all of us. …
The darkness that poses a real threat to mankind, after all, is the fact that he can see and investigate tangible material things, but cannot see where the world is going or whence it comes, where our own life is going, what is good and what is evil. The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general. If God and moral values, the difference between good and evil, remain in darkness, then all other “lights”, that put such incredible technical feats within our reach, are not only progress but also dangers that put us and the world at risk. Today we can illuminate our cities so brightly that the stars of the sky are no longer visible. Is this not an image of the problems caused by our version of enlightenment? With regard to material things, our knowledge and our technical accomplishments are legion, but what reaches beyond, the things of God and the question of good, we can no longer identify. Faith, then, which reveals God’s light to us, is the true enlightenment, enabling God’s light to break into our world, opening our eyes to the true light.
You can find the full text here.
If I am
at some point,
I have to admit
that most of my
is my own
I don’t need
evil to befall me,
I seek it out,
like a wolf
A lovely little exercise:
I am often struck by how useless some parts of our knowledge are; which otherwise we think of great importance. For example, if tomorrow I discovered that Mars was not exactly where we thought it was, but was actually a few million miles further out, what difference would that make?
Or take this a step further, what if tomorrow I found out that the sun goes around the earth and not the earth around the sun? Would it matter? As far as I can tell, not much. I wouldn’t do or not do something depending on this bit of trivia.
So, what does matter? Whether I love and am loved. Whether God is present. Whether I am accountable to someone for my actions. Whether my actions have significance beyond the immediate. Whether there is an afterlife.
These are things that matter, and I like to focus my attention on matters that matter. The rest is just idle curiosity.
I agree that Copernicus’ opinion need not be more closely examined. But this: It affects our whole life to know whether the soul is mortal or immortal.
~Blaise Pascal (Pensées, 164)
Is there a difference between Obscenity and Blasphemy?
They turned along the left bank in a line;
but before they started, all of them together
had stuck their pointed tongues out as a sign
to their Captain that they wished permission to pass,
and he had made a trumpet of his ass.
(Dante, The Inferno, Canto XXI)
In commenting on this Canto, John Ciardi notes:
“Dante has been called ‘The Master of the Disgusting’ with the stress at times on the mastery and at times on the disgust. The occasional coarseness of details…has offended certain delicate readers. It is worth pointing out that the mention of bodily function is likely to be more shocking in a Protestant than in a Catholic culture. It has often seemed to me that the offensive language of Protestantism is obscenity; the offensive language of Catholicism is profanity or blasphemy: one offends on a scale of unmentionable words for bodily functions, the other on a scale of disrespect for the sacred. Dante places the Blasphemous in Hell as the worst of the Violent against God and His Works, but he has no category for punishing those who use four-letter words.”
So blow that out your a$$!