Thursday, January 28, 2010

"to make man feel the want of it..."

I often ask myself, and I am sometimes asked by my friends, why I allow myself to be distracted by the passing lunacies of the present age. Why not rise above them as best one can? Well, I have my moments when rising above them seems both possible and morally justified, but it is in the midst of these sundry delusions that we must find our way and, as best we can, be light to those even more encumbered by the spirit of the age -- from which, by the grace of God, we have managed a small degree of liberation.

So I found the following Samuel Taylor Coleridge observation helpful:
“Evidences of Christianity! I am weary of the word. Make a man feel the want of it; rouse him, if you can, to the self-knowledge of his need of it; and you may safely trust to its own Evidence -- remembering only the express declaration of Christ himself: ‘No man cometh to me, unless the Father leadeth him!’”
To which one can only add another of Jesus’ “hard sayings,” namely: “Without me you can do nothing.”

So, when I lament this or that peril with which we are now faced, my principle reason for doing so is not to "gloat over the wrongdoing of others" (as St. Paul put it) but rather to "make man feel the want of [Christianity]," to rouse us to the grim reality of a world even more forgetful of Christianity than we are today.

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