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Jesu, Juva

Archive for March 2019

Moral appeal

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[M]odern ideologies involve definite ethical positions. Though an ideology may actually represent the interests of a particular group in society, it does not function as an expression of desire but as an expression of conscience. The slogan “liberty, equality, fraternity” may have originated in the bourgeoisie’s attempt to gain power at the expense of the privileged noble and clerical classes, but the slogan nonetheless rang out as a moral watchword. It struck men with all the force of an “ought,” an ethical imperative. Modern ideologies appeal to people’s consciences, and those who reject an ideology must rely upon the force of an alternate ideological or moral position or contend with the guilt which results from rejecting the ideological appeal. This is why it is so important for Christians to be able to recognize non–Christian ideologies. If they cannot, they are defenseless against their moral appeal. Christians are among those most susceptible to ideological influence, precisely because of their high level of moral sensitivity.

(Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 522)

Written by Scott Moonen

March 22, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Truth

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Also, many Communists have interpreted the dialectic as giving them freedom to lie and propagandize with little concern for “truth.” Their ethics are not based on absolute norms, but are historically conditioned. Marxists feel free to do whatever is necessary to advance the Communist society—the society in which justice will prevail. What is true at one stage of the dialectical process or from one perspective in the dialectical conflict is not necessarily true at another stage or from another perspective. Marxists do not entirely reject the concept of objective “truth,” but they define and apply the term in a way that differs drastically from its definition and application in Christian morality. For a Marxist, lying can be permissible—even necessary.

(Stephen B. Clark, Man and Woman in Christ, 516)

Written by Scott Moonen

March 22, 2019 at 5:26 pm

The Law That Marries All Things (Wendell Berry)

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1.
The cloud is free only
to go with the wind.

The rain is free
only in falling.

The water is free only
in its gathering together,

in its downward courses,
in its rising into air.

2.
In law is rest
if you love the law,
if you enter, singing, into it
as water in its descent.

3.
Or song is truest law,
and you must enter singing;
it has no other entrance.

It is the great chorus
of parts. The only outlawry
is in division.

4.
Whatever is singing
is found, awaiting the return
of whatever is lost.

5.
Meet us in the air
over the water,
sing the swallows.

Meet me, meet me,
the redbird sings,
here here here here.

Wendell Berry, Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 136–137, originally from The Wheel

Written by Scott Moonen

March 4, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Poetry

Gift

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By Brooks Haxton. Source: The Atlantic. Hat Tip: John Barach

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
and we all do fade as a leaf
—ISAIAH 64:6

After my mother’s father died,
she gave me his morocco Bible.
I took it from her hand, and saw
the gold was worn away, the binding
scuffed and ragged, split below the spine,
and inside, smudges where her father’s
right hand gripped the bottom corner
page by page, an old man waiting, not quite
reading the words he had known by heart
for sixty years: our parents in the garden,
naked, free from shame; the bitterness of labor;
blood in the ground, still calling for God’s
curse. His thumbprints faded after the flood,
to darken again where God bids Moses smite
the rock, and then again in Psalms, in Matthew
every page. And where Paul speaks of things
God hath prepared, things promised them who wait,
things not yet entered into the loving heart,
below the margin of the verse, the paper
is translucent with the oil and dark
still with the dirt of his right hand.

Brooks Haxton, They Lift Their Wings to Cry

Written by Scott Moonen

March 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Posted in Poetry