Art makes visible what is invisible.
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Nothing kills credibility like excessive enthusiasm. Nothing poisons truth so quickly as an assurance that one has found it. ‘The impeded stream is the one that sings.’
Prosperity breeds amnesia.
It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral…
Because it is politically expedient to sacrifice the future — which does not vote — to the consumption of government services by those who do, America is eating its seed corn.
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
Books are like children that grow up and leave one’s house, and then have an independent life of their own. One may be surprised, delighted, or appalled at what happens along the way, but the outcome is beyond one’s control.
He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Have we really reached the point where the basic argument that men and women are different, or that free men and women will often make different choices in large part because they are different, or that religion and ancient traditions can inform and guide our lives today, are now so toxic that their advocates must and should face a relentless campaign to drive them from the public square?
One of the signs of a great society is the diligence with which it passes culture from one generation to the next. This culture is the embodiment of everything the people of that society hold dear: its religious faith, its heroes…when one generation no longer esteems it’s own heritage and fails to pass the torch to its children, it is saying in essence that the very foundational principles and experiences that make the society what it is are no longer valid. This leaves that generation without any sense of definition or direction, making them the fulfillment of Karl Marx’s dictum, ‘A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.’ What is required when this happens and the society has lost its way, is for leaders to arise, who have not forgotten the discarded legacy and who love it with all their hearts. They can then become the voice of that lost generation, wooing an errant generation back to the faith of their fathers, back to the ancient foundations and bedrock values.
To me, history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility. To me, it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive.
Perhaps we are not more judgmental than in previous days, but our technology, freedom, and affluence have enabled us to be much more democratic and public in our judgments, outspoken about our opinions and positions in public forums. As a result, the air we breathe is filled with violence, not peace. We raise our flags and wear our colors proudly these days, and are unafraid to shout down the other army and its soldiers. We are not often heeding the call of Romans 12:18 — “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Violence — inner, spoken, attitudinal, expressed — too often marks how we relate to each other.
Get to know people you’ve been taught to avoid.
By virtue of Creation and, still more, of the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.