Saturday, March 10, 2018

Confidence in God

James McAuley "took from [the retired bishop of the Papuans Alain de] Boismenu one lesson above all: that pessimism, in the bishop’s words, 'is the source of nothing whatever, it paralyzes all impulse, deadens every generous feeling.' Better was optimism, which despite its risks could at least produce something. But the right state was something different from either: 'confidence in God.' McAuley would often repeat these words, to others and to himself, in the years after his reception into the Church, which came finally in 1952. Becoming Catholic did not make McAuley into a saint, but it was in every way the turning point of his life—for, as he put it, the convert walks through a door with submission written over the frame."

     Dan Hitchens, "James McAuley beyond despair," First things no. 280 (February 2018):  33 (31-36).  Quoting McAuley:  "'Very characteristic was the reply [Boismenu] once gave to the question:  'By what sign can sanctity be recognized?'  His answer was:  'By naturalness.'"

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