Tuesday, June 29, 2004

One of the tendencies of our age is to use the suffering of children to discredit the goodness of God, and once you have discredited His goodness, you are done with Him. The Aylmers whom Hawthorne saw as a menace have multiplied. Busy cutting down human imperfection, they are making headway also on the raw material of the good. Ivan Karamozov cannot believe, as long as one child is in torment; Camus' hero cannot accept the divinity of Christ, because of the massacre of the innocents. In this popular pity, we mark our gain in sensibility and our loss in vision. If other ages felt less, they saw more, even though they saw with the blind, prophetical, unsentimental eye of acceptance, which is to say faith. In the absence of this faith now, we govern by tenderness. It is a tenderness which, long since cut off from the person of Christ, is wrapped in theory. When tenderness is detached from the source of tenderness, its logical outcome is terror. It ends in forced-labor camps and in the fumes of the gas chamber.

4 comments:

Belladonna said...

There's some GREAT stuff here!

Thanks for putting the time in to get all this posted.

Sola said...

Was this written by Carl Olsen?

TS said...

No, all quotes on this blog are Flannery O'Connor's unless otherwise indicated. This quote came from her book Mystery and Manners, which I should've mentioned in the title...

Sola said...

Thanks for that =) I was a little confused.