Wednesday, June 29, 2005

From "The Habit of Being"

...I am a Catholic peculiarly possessed of the modern consciousness, that thing Jung describes as unhistorical, solitary, and guilty. To possess this within the Church is to bear a burden, the necessary burden for the conscious Catholic. It's to feel the contemporary situation at the ultimate level.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

From "The Habit of Being", pg. 370

The dissecting language [speaking of a Karl Adam book] repels me too; this is what is known as The Pious Style...In some pious writers there is a lot about the Church being the bride of Christ. This kind of metaphor may have helped that age to get a picture of a certain reality; it fails to help most of us...The only places you can really avoid the Pious Style are in the liturgy and the Bible; and these are the places where the Church herself speaks.

from The Habit of Being, pg. 145

The virtue of novenas is that they keep you at it for nine consecutive days and the human attention being what it is, this is a long time. I hate to say most of these prayers written by saints-in-an-emotional-state. You feel you are wearing somebody else's finery and I can never describe my heart as "burning" to the Lord (who knows better) without snickering.

Monday, June 20, 2005

On the Christian writer...

The Christian writer does not decide what would be good for the world and proceed to deliver it. Like a very doubtful Jacob, he confronts what stands in his path and wonders if he will come out of the struggle at all.