Tuesday, June 29, 2004

from "Habit of Being"

"God never promised [the Church] political infallibility or wisdom and sometimes she doesn't appear to have even elementary good sense. She seems always to be either on the wrong side politically or simply a couple hundred years behind the world in her political thinking. She tries to get along with any form of gov't that does not set itself up as a religion. Communism is a religion of the state, committed to the extinction of the Church...She condemns Communism because it is a false religion, not because of the form of gvt it is."


"The things that we are obliged to do, such as hear Mass on Sunday, fast and abstain on the days appointed, etc. can become mechanical and merely habit. But it is better to be held to the Church by habit than not to be held at all. The Church is mighty realistic about human nature. Further it is not at all possible to tell what's going on inside the person who appears to be going about his obligations mechnically. We don't believe that grace is something you have to feel. The Catholic always distrusts his emotional reaction to the sacraments."


"If [Cardinal John Henry] Newman is a saint, his saintliness didn't destroy his scrupulous intellect or his finickiness and you'll have to accept a finicky saint. Anyway, here he is dealing with [Charles] Kingsley, enough to bring out the finickiness in anybody. I didn't read the stuff in the back from Kingsley, couldn't stand it..."

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