Friday, January 29, 2016

"The work of heaven alone was material; the making of a material world. The work of hell is entirely spiritual."

     G. K. Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1933), chap. 4 ("A meditation on the Manichees").

"comme les pommiers produisent des pommes"

"idiots utter idiocies just as plum trees produce plums—it's a normal, natural process.  The problem is that some readers take them seriously. . . .The most charitable thing you can say about [Maoist Maria-Antonietta Macciocchi's book] On China is that it is utterly stupid; because if you did not accuse her of being stupid, you would have to say that she's a fraud."

"Je pense... que les idiots disent des idioties, c'est comme les pommiers produisent des pommes, c'est dans la nature, c'est normal. Le problème c'est qu'il y ait des lecteurs pour les prendre au sérieux et là évidemment se trouve le problème qui mériterait d'être analysé. Prenons le cas de Madame Macciocchi par exemple — je n'ai rien contre Madame Macciocchi personnellement, je n'ai jamais eu le plaisir de faire sa connaissance — quand je parle de Madame Macciocchi, je parle d'une certaine idée de la Chine, je parle de son œuvre, pas de sa personne. Son ouvrage De la Chine, c'est ... ce qu'on peut dire de plus charitable, c'est que c'est d'une stupidité totale, parce que si on ne l'accusait pas d'être stupide, il faudrait dire que c'est une escroquerie."

     "Simon Leys" (Pierre Ryckmans) "on France's prestigious cultural show Apostrophes" in May of 1983, as translated by Henri Astier, "In the age of Sham and Amnesia," Times literary supplement no. 5885 (January 15, 2016):  5 (5-7).

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Prayer is an act of the reason

"Prayer is an act of reason directing [(rationis . . . applicantis)] the ardent desire of the will at [(ad)] Him who is not under our power, but above us, namely God."

"Oratio rationis est actus, applicantis desiderium voluntatis ad eum qui non est sub potestate nostra, sed supra nos, scilicet Deus."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, Super Sent.  Cf. also "Prayer is the act of reason by which one entreats a superior [(Oratio est actus rationis, per quem aliquis superiorem deprecatur)]" (ST
     I was put onto these by Christoph J. Amor, "'Asking makes a difference . . .':  Das Bittgebet bei Thomas Aquinas in der neueren Diskussion," Neue Zeitschrift für Systematische Theologie 50 (2008):  42 (37-61).  Cf. Super Sent. 2 and ad 4;; IV. 2; and  And ST and ad 2 (to restrict this to the nouns oratio (#5730), ratio (#68404), and actus (#01503) only, in proximity).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"What I do not hesitate to honor in you"

"You easily understand what it is that I am ready to honor in you [(quid autem in te honorare non dubitem)].  Naturally, I do not consider the error of schism worthy of honor, since I long to cure all men of it, as far as I can.  But, without any shadow of doubt, I think you are worthy of honor:  first, because you are bound to us by the very bond of human society; secondly, because there are in you clear signs of a peaceful mind, which support the hope that you will readily embrace the truth when it has been demonstrated to you.  Indeed, I owe you as much love as He commanded us to have who loved us unto the ignominy of the Cross."

     St. Augustine, Epistle 33 to the Donatist bishop of Hippo Proculeianus (before 396).  FC 12, trans. Sister Wilfred Parsons (1951), 126-127 (126-130).  CSEL 34.2, ed. Goldbacher (1898), 18.