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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Excerpts Worth Repeating from "The Restoration of Christian Culture"

"Catholic parents and teachers must read and re-read Cardinal Newman's long, balanced, incomparable essay on the whole subject, 'Catholic Literature in the English Tongue,' in his book, 'Idea of a University'" (27).

"The seminal ideas of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, [and] St. Thomas, only properly grow in an imaginative ground saturated with fables, fairy tales, stories, rhymes, romances, adventures - the thousand good books of Grimm, Andersen, Stevenson, Dickens, Scott, Dumas, and the rest. Western tradition, taking all that was the best of the Greco-Roman world into itself, has given us a culture in which the Faith properly grows; and since the conversion of Constantine that culture has become Christian. It is the seedbed of intelligence and will, the ground for all studies in the arts and sciences, including theology, without which they are inhumane and destructive" (25).

"Our Lord explains in the Parable of the Sower that the seed of His love will only grow in a certain soil - and that is the soil of Christian Culture, which is the work of music in the wide sense, including as well as tunes that are sung, art, literature, games, architecture - all so many instruments in the orchestra which plays day and night the music of lovers; and if it is disordered, then the love of Christ will not grow. It is an obvious fact that here in the United States now, the Devil has seized these instruments to play a danse macabre, a dance of death, especially through what we call the "media," the film, television, radio, record, book, magazine and newspaper industries. The restoration of culture, spiritually, morally, physically, demands the cultivation of the soil in which the love of Christ can grow, and that means we must, as they say, rethink priorities" (21).

"We must inscribe this first law of Christian economics on our hearts: the purpose of work is not profit but prayer, and the first law of Christian ethics: that we live for Him and not for ourselves" (17).

"The immediate purpose is simply to do the job to be done - for the butcher to cut the meat, for the baker to bake the bread, for the teacher to teach the multiplication tables. The proximate purpose is from Latin proximus, meaning "neighbour," exactly as in the phrase, love thy neighbour - diliges proximum tuum. The proximate end, perhaps surprisingly, is chiefly accomplished in prayer. And the final, or ultimate, purpose, the reason why we work and pray, is to know and love God as He is in Himself, so far as that is possible, in imitating His earthly life in Christ, the chief act of which was sacrifice. The immediate promixate, and final purposes of all our operations can be summed up in three words: work, prayer, sacrifice. These are the items on the Catholic Agenda." (54).

"Charity is not a human but a divine work accomplished through human work, with us as its voluntary instruments" (55).


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