Skepticism and Certainty

And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge, and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things. Philippians 1:9-10 In a profoundly pertinent and provocatively penetrating essay, Gary Saul Morrison explores the wise skepticism of Leo Tolstoy. Against those who believe that human affairs can be reducedContinue reading “Skepticism and Certainty”

Unwinding Unwisdom

An old and erroneous nugget of unwisdom has it that the English word tedium originates from the Latin Te Deum—the Church’s hymn of thanksgiving, attributed to St. Ambrose of Milan, rehearsing on earth the divine praises we hope one day to sing in heaven. To those who have difficulty sitting through a sermon or sacredContinue reading “Unwinding Unwisdom”

Purity and Play

Blessed are the pure of heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 Our Lord tells that, to be saved, we must become like little children (Mt. 18:3). Speaking as Divine Wisdom, he also tells us of that “When [the Lord] prepared the heavens, I was present”; “I was with him forming all things: andContinue reading “Purity and Play”

Gaining Mastery of the World

St. Catherine of Sienna’s Dialogue with Christ begins with a question precisely opposed to the one  most of us would think of asking: “What can I do to suffer for you?” In response, Jesus affirms the generosity of her desire, but proceeds to instruct the saint on the true nature and value of Christian suffering.Continue reading “Gaining Mastery of the World”

What is Political Philosophy?

Philosophy is the love of wisdom. To love something, we must know it. Had our Creator not left the stamp of his own Wisdom upon our soul, we would have no idea wisdom exists, and would be helpless to recognize it even if we happened to stumble upon it. By the same token, no oneContinue reading “What is Political Philosophy?”

Special Gifts

Everything in nature has what belongs to its species. Every flower has what it needs. Every animal follows successfully its instinct, and every creature has its own perfection. Just so is it in the various states of grace: Each has its specific gifts, and there is a recompense for each of those whose good willContinue reading “Special Gifts”

Possessing All Things

But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God: As having nothing, and possessing all things. 1 Corinthians 6:4, 10 There is nothing which is not the possession of the wise person, except what is contrary to virtue. The whole world is his possession, since he uses it all as hisContinue reading “Possessing All Things”

Broken to Pieces

No opposition to the prudence of the flesh is surer than the simplicity which eludes all the traps of worldly wisdom without thinking or even being aware of them. The divine action causes the soul to take such wise measures that she surprises those who are trying to make her stumble. She profits by allContinue reading “Broken to Pieces”

The Problem with Politics, and How to Solve It

Plato says that all would be well if only wise men reigned—or if all those who reigned were philosophers. But in the same way that wise men wisely avoid ruling fools, so do fools foolishly refuse to submit to the rule of the wise. And so confusion reigns. William of St. Thierry Beginning from theContinue reading “The Problem with Politics, and How to Solve It”

Beyond the Power of Man

Omnipotence in itself seems to me something bad and dangerous.  Its exercise seems to me beyond the power of man, whoever he may be; and I see only God who can, without danger, be all powerful, because his wisdom and his justice are always equal to his power. There is no authority on earth so respectableContinue reading “Beyond the Power of Man”