Thursday, August 13, 2009

NOTABLE QUOTEABLES

THIS ONE FROM "THE SEVEN STORY MOUNTAIN" BY THOMAS MERTON


"How Did it happen that, when the dregs of the world had collected in western Europe, when Goth and Frank and Norman and Lombard had mingled with the rot of old Rome to form a patchwork of hybrid races, all of them notable for ferocity, hatred, stupidity, craftiness, lust and brutality--how did it happen that from all this, there should come Gregorian chant, monasteries and cathedrals, the poems of Prudentius, the commentaries and histories of Bede, the Moralia of Gregory the Great, St. Augustine's City of God, and his Trinity, the writings of St. Anselm, St. Bernard's sermons on the Canticles, the poetry of Caedmon and Cynewulf and Langland and Dante, St. Thomas' Summa, and the Oxoniense of Duns Scotus?

How does it happeen that even today a couple of ordinary French stonemasons, or a carpenter and his apprentice, can put up a dovecote or a barn that has more architectural perfection than the piles of eclectic stupidity that grow up at th ecost of hundreds of thousands of dollars on the campuses of American universities?"


The Answer: The One Holy Catholic and Apostollic Church. And don't you forget it!! It is a darn shame that France and Europe in general have all but forgotten it. Will the Church be prepared to save Europe from the modern barbarian hordes as it was able to save it from the classical hordes?

2 Comments:

Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

That period,known as the Dark Ages, was anything but dark. From Wikipedia:

The concept of a Dark Age was created by the Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) in the 1330s as an age which separated his own from the riches of classical antiquity and was originally intended as a sweeping criticism of the character of Late Latin literature.

In other words, Petrarch was a freaking snob who thought that Latin of any quality had to be Classical including classical antiquity (culture, literature, etc.) His term gave ammunition to future anti-Catholic bigots of the alleged Age of Enlightenment: the atheistic/agnostic and Protestants. And it is still used today, even by Roman Catholics!

Besides, those civilized Romans could be rather barbaric themselves. E.g., they crucified Jesus Christ, not the most "humane" way to kill somebody. Those barbaric Germans never did this.

7:53 PM  
Blogger chestertonian said...

Nor did barbaric "dark age" Germans leave unwanted babies to die in alleyways. The enlightened Romans did that too.

6:39 AM  

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