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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Duc in Altum?

This whole blog deal is new to me, but here goes all the same... As a recent graduate of a tiny, liberal arts, traditional, Catholic college, I'm experiencing once more the culture shock of every summer vacation. In my little college community, certain spiritual goods were taken for granted. Those who desired higher things need not go far to find: a reverent Mass, enriched by the forgotten arts of Gregorian Chant and polyphonic choirs; good conversation, stimulated by group readings of the giants of the Catholic tradition (Newman, Chesterton, Pieper, Belloc, Tolkien, etc) and facilitated by the shared vocabulary of a unified curriculum; wholesome diversion, from parlour games and scenic walks, to folk songs and contra dancing; and most importantly, virtuous friendships. Now I find myself cut adrift from that again, and left in the poverty of modern, American culture.
At home, my family and our small circle of friends are a bastion against the spiritus mundi. In lonely confederacy, we struggle against the sirens of materialism and pop culture. More and more I realize how difficult it is for such a small band to maintain a flourishing Christian community, and how little influence they have to draw others from the false promises of the world to a truly happy life. So deeply have errors insinuated themselves into the very structure of our society that, in many respects, a healthy community must isolate itself to survive. Nevertheless, I am not despondent; as Newman said, "Christ never will reign visibly upon earth; but in each age, as it comes, we shall read of tumult and heresy, and hear the complaint of good men marvelling at what they conceive to be the especial wickedness of their own times." Rather, I feel blessed to be among the minority of those who have been introduced to the wisdom of the Christian tradition and shown the true end of man. Now it remains only to discover the best means of attaining that end, how the reditus to God is to be carried out. This is a daunting task, but I am fortified by the graces of the sacraments, and consoled by the friendship of like-minded people (those who are mens nostra, to use a favorite phrase of my good friend D.M.), scattered across the continent though we may be. At the very least, my fellow graduates and I can share the treasury of the Catholic tradition with our families and friends and children, and apply it as much as possible to our own lives. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!


Blogger TheresaMF said...

Welcome to the internet! Whence cometh your screenname?

Although mens nostra does not exactly describe me, I look forward to your future posts.

What Newman said about the "especial wickedness of their own times" is probably true. Yet in the final issue of the Romanist, the traditionalist campus publication, one of the articles made a distinction between sin and modernity: we always have to struggle against sin, but the pervasive anti-human worldview has not always been present. Certainly, though there have been Arians and Albigensians, there has never been such a post-Christian secular age as today.

+TheresaMF, www.theresamf.blogspot.com

P.S. It would be nice if you changed your comments box settings so people could post anonymously, and so the comments pop up. :)

5:09 PM  

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