Tuesday, June 29, 2004

From "The Habit of Being"...

I have a biography of St. John of the Cross and one of Rabelais. I read a little of one and then a little of the other; edifying contrast.
I am much more interested in the nobility of unnaturalness than in the nobility of naturalness. As Robert [Fitzgerald] says, it is the business of the artist to uncover the strangeness of truth. The violent are not natural. St. Thomas's gloss on this verse [i.e. the 'violent bear it away'] is that the violent Christ is here talking about represent those ascetics who strain against mere nature. St. Augustine concurs.
The Church's stand on birth control is the most absolutely spiritual of all her stands and with all of us being materialists at heart, there is little wonder that it causes unease. I wish various fathers would quit trying to defend it by saying that the world can support 40 billion. I will rejoice in the day when they say: This is right, whether we all rot on top of each other or not, dear children, as we certainly may. Either practice restraint or be prepared for crowding...
The Catholic finds it easier to understand the atheist than the Protestant, but easier to love the Protestant than the atheist. The fact is though now that the fundamentalist Protestants, as far as doctrine goes, are closer to their traditional enemy, the Church of Rome, than they are to the advanced elements in Protestantism.

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