Thanks to sharp eyes on the Bayly Blog, I was reminded of the good stuff to be found in First Things, now linked here. These excerpts come from a recent speech transcribed there, given by Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Denver.
But Americans now face the same growing spiritual illness that J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, Christopher Dawson, Romano Guardini, and C.S. Lewis all wrote about in the last century. It’s a loss of hope and purpose that comes from the loss of an interior life and a living faith. It’s a loss that we can only make bearable by creating a culture of material comfort that feeds—and feeds off of—personal selfishness.And quoting from Frank Sheed:
Humility is the beginning of sanity. We can’t love anyone else until we can see past ourselves. And man can’t even be man without God. The humility to recognize who we are as creatures, who God is as our Father, what God asks from each of us, and the reality of God’s love for other human persons as well as ourselves—this is the necessary foundation that religion brings to every discussion of free will, justice, and truth, and to every conversation about “the common good.”
It’s incredible how long science has succeeded in keeping men’s minds off their fundamental unhappiness and its own very limited power to remedy their fundamental unhappiness. One marvel follows another—electric light, phonograph, motor car, telephone, radio, airplane, television. It’s a curious list, and very pathetic. The soul of man is crying for hope of purpose or meaning; and the scientist says, “Here is a telephone” or “Look, television!”—exactly as one tries to distract a baby crying for its mother by offering it sugar-sticks and making funny faces.