Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"beware of those brotherly dialogues in which everyone is in raptures while listening to the heresies, blasphemies, stuff and nonsense of the other"

"But we would be making a mistake at least as serious in the opposite direction if, on the pretext of making this practical agreement more secure, we tried to camouflage the irreducible oppositions that persist in the speculative order between the parties involved, by lying as to what is and by adapting the true to the false in order to make the dialogue more smoothly cordial, and more deceptively fruitful. . . ."
"the more a Christian, or a Catholic, gives an absolute primacy in his heart to a fully liberated brotherly love, and, in dealing with non-Catholics or non-Christians, sees them as they really are, members of Christ, at least potentially, the more firmly he must maintain his positions in the doctrinal order (I don't say he should brandish them at every turn), and must make clear the differences which, in the realm of what is true or false, separate him from those men he loves wholeheartedly.  In acting thus, he will be honoring them.  To do otherwise would be to betray Truth, which is above everything. . . ."
". . . . love and truth should be served with equal fidelity.  (To put it more precisely, brotherly love and the love of the One who is the Truth.)  Misericordia et veritas obviaverunt sibi. . ."

     "Finally, and most importantly, will it not be at the cost of a rather painful overstretching in the very soul of the Christian, and of a vigilance which can rarely permit any slackening, and a struggle against often subtle temptations, and with what renunciations, and sometimes sacrifices, that can be assured, somehow or other, the double and unique fidelity to which he is bound, on one hand, to truth in the order of intelligence and theological faith, and, on the other, to brotherly love (which understands all things, said St. Paul, and forgives all things), when it comes to our relations with our neighbor, and this neighbor himself sets at naught what we most cherish?  All the assistance of grace will be needed.  The love of the Cross will be needed.  To sum up, what I have been attempting to suggest is nothing but the law of the cross. . . ."

     "In the fraternal dialogue, the deeper love is, the more each one feels bound to declare, without diminution or lenitive salve what he holds to be true (otherwise he would wrong, not only truth as he sees it, but also the spiritual dignity of his neighbor)."

"On the other hand, [the inherent delight of the fraternal dialogue] would completely degenerate if the fear of displeasing my brother got the better of my duty to declare the truth. . . .
     "Let us beware of those brotherly dialogues in which everyone is in raptures while listening to the heresies, blasphemies, stuff and nonsense of the other.  They are not loving at all.  It has never been recommended to confuse 'loving' with 'seeking to please.'"

     Jacques Maritain, The peasant of the Garonne:  an old layman questions himself about the present time, trans. Michael Cuddihy and Elizabeth Hughes (New York:  Holt, Rinehart and Winston), 80 (italics in the first paragraph mine), 90, 91.

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