I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Various

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Of the Father’s Love Begotten is a new carol to me; I’m liking it very much. The Wexford Carol is not new to me but it is also wonderful.

Another annual treat: Chesterton’s “Gloria in Profundis.”

Duane Garner recently finished a sermon series on the Song of Songs, and now has launched into Revelation.

Some quotes from Eugen Rosenstock–Huessy’s 1954 Comparative Religion class, lecture 16:

Once you have disturbed a holy experience, you have destroyed it. . . . If you and another person go to a grave, and you make a silly remark on the way to the grave, as most people do who go to a funeral, and you are ashamed of your tears, you destroy also the faith and the love of this other person. She has to listen to this silly remark which you make there. . . .

There’s more destruction, gentlemen, done by the people with good intentions and rational philosophy than by anybody else in the world. You do the mischief with your wrong philosophy. Not the “weak” people who cry and laugh and so on. They may be silly, certainly, . . . stupidity is in itself not a merit, gentlemen. But the people who think by their cleverness to be superior, they are much more dangerous. Much more. And the country—the world—America is dying from their silliness.

Did I tell you my story about Scipio? . . . As you know, the Roman Empire has still has quite a ring, even in your ears, as the empire that lasted longer than anything else. The empire only ceased to exist in 1805, and it began in this year 146 before Christ, when Scipio conquered Carthage and Corinth, the last Greek province and the African coast. At that time, the Roman Empire was established as the governess and mistress of the Mediterranean world. Well, to make a very long story short, the gist of the matter was that Scipio wept on the day of the surrender of Carthage. And when he was asked by his best friend and tutor and professor of philosophy why he did weep, . . . he said, “Because when the queen of Carthage perpetrated her unconditional surrender to me, I foresaw the day on which Rome would fall, too.” . . . If you weep, gentlemen, in such a situation, you will prolong the existence of your empire for untold centuries. The Roman Empire has lasted so long, because Scipio wept. And the United States of America will not last, will not last 600 years. It’s impossible, because of the behavior of the Americans in the year of the Lord 1945. They did not weep. They just had a rational philosophy. . . We have carried out our policy. That’s not good enough, gentlemen. . . . Gentlemen, these were people out of which the United States drew all their human reserves for 300 years. Therefore, Europe cannot be treated according to plan. That’s a different story. That’s your family. Maybe the wicked part of the family, but still your own family. . . .

Gentlemen, . . . the condition of the life everlasting is your and my not thinking that we make it. As soon as you think that we make our lives, that we make our policies, that we win our wars, this life will not last long, because you exaggerate the place of plan. . . .

and lecture 17:

And I always feel that many men in this country are so ridiculously intimidated by the girl, and they are so grateful that this girl condescends to marry them, that they sacrifice too much. You sacrifice the better man in you [together with the child–playboy]. This you must never do, because the man in you is the only power that can make this girl happy. She can never rest, when she gets you without your real inner growth, without the stage in which you have reached a decision. Do I make myself clear? And wherever I look, I see this, gentlemen, and it’s so many tragedies in this country—all live between 20 and 30 and after this, no life whatsoever left. This country, which has abolished tragedy, is full of tragedy. It is terrible, and tragedy that can never be healed. Because once a woman has stepped in this sense on your sanctuary and says, “That’s all over now. We get married and that’s all just the past,” she has declined to allow you to grow. And once this is capped, once this is cut, this growing point is seared and cauterized for the rest of your life, you may be the breadwinner of your family, and you may be a little rooster, but that’s all. . . .

Playboy religion is always pluralistic, because they are all short-lived pleasures. They are all shorter than the real life. You can have 10 amours. You can have 20 dates. But you can have only one wife. And you can have 20 drunken parties, you see. But you can have only one wedding, or one great occasion in which your candidacy for office is celebrated or not. But that’s all much more limited. One. But all the pleasures you can multiply. That’s why playboy religion is always multifarious. You can go on from one party to the next, swimming and canoeing and tennis-playing and football, and on it goes. And these pleasures are innumerable. . . .

Gentlemen, that’s why it is necessary to have the Bible. The one book—the Bible is the book of books, as you know. There had to be one book which is only once, in order to make clear to you that you are all apt to get stuck with the best-sellers. That’s the playboy religion, that you go on from one book to the next, and to the next, in endless succession. As long as you play with these books, it’s all right. But it’s the great saving of your orientation that you must know there is one book that is not read for pleasure, and therefore it’s only one. . . . Anybody who wants to abolish religion says that the Bible is literature. Literature is playboy religion, Muses, liberal arts, plural, many, you see. Literature means that one book can take the place of another book. And the Bible means that no book can take the place of this book. There is only one Bible, or there is no Bible. But if there’s no Bible, don’t read it. That is, you can never treat the Bible as literature. You can decide not to read the Bible, because it’s just old stuff and superstition. Nobody can force you to take to the Bible. But never mistake it to be what it is not. The Bible is not one book out of many.

Written by Scott Moonen

December 9, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Miscellany

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