Saturday, December 19, 2009

excerpts from an interview with Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. on his "The Mind that is Catholic."

"I always like the way Aquinas recalls Aristotle's comment that 'a small error in the beginning leads to a large error in the end'....

"It was Aristotle who warned us that the reason we do not accept the truth even when it is presented to us is because we do not really want to know it. Knowing it would force us to change our ways. If we do not want to change our ways, we will invent a 'theory' whereby we can live without the truth....

"No one could think that the curriculum and spirit of Catholic schools today are based in the tradition of specifically Catholic intelligence. That requires discipline, study, and virtue. In the modern world, we find no group more deprived of the glories of their own mind than young Catholics. This is why those small enclaves that do address themselves to it are in many ways remarkable. Catholic institutions of higher learning, as they are called, simply gave up what was unique about themselves & the reasons for having Catholic universities in the first place. This lost source was the active vigor of the Catholic mind read not as an historical phenomenon or as a social activism, but as a search for and testimony of the truth, that towards which all mind is directed....

"I think the present pope, as well as the previous one, were marvels of the Catholic mind, a mind that comes to grips with all things, yet with the light of grace and revelation....I was constantly astonished at the enormous range of the mind of the present Holy Father. There is simply no mind in any university or public office that can match his. He is a humble man, in fact. It is embarrassing to the world, and often to Catholic 'intellectuals,' to find that its most intelligent mind is on the Chair of Peter. I have always considered this papal intellectual profundity to be God's little joke to the modern mind....

"Great damage can and has come to the little ones through the aberrations of the philosophers. We do well to take note of it. But Catholicism, as I have tried to spell out, needs and wants and delights in its thinkers....

"the only way we could do...worship properly is if God would teach us. This is what the Mass, with its reality of the sacrifice of the Cross present, is about -- the way to worship God. Only God, in the end, could tell us this, give us an example of how to perform the worship of the Father. So yes, the mind that is Catholic leads naturally to worship and to the awe of the Triune Godhead into which we are invited to enter if we accept the divine invitation and live our lives in a way that we do not reject it. The mind that is Catholic seeks the source of what is and to delight in it. This is its glory" <>

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