Saturday, December 17, 2016

O Sapientia

O Wisdom, who have proceeded out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching (always) from end (all the way) to end, powerfully and [yet per]suasively disposing all things:  Come for the purpose of instructing us in the way of prudence.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:  veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

Sources (selected):  Wis 8:1 above all, but also Dt 8:3, Is 40:14, etc.

Friday, December 16, 2016

"the [deepest] desire of your heart is itself your [unceasing] prayer"

"'All my desire is before you, Lord.  Not before human beings, who cannot see my heart, but before you is my desire.'  Let your desire too be before him, and there your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.  This very desire is your prayer, and if your desire is continuous, your prayer is continuous too.  The apostle meant what he said, Pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17)."

     St. Augustine, Ennarationes in Psalmos 37.14 (v. 10), trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B., WSA III/16 (Hyde Park, NY:  New City Press, 2000), 156-157.  Heading from the translation in the Liturgy of the hours (Office of readings, Friday, Third Week of Advent).

"Et ante te est omne desiderium meum.  Non enim ante homines, qui cor videre non possunt:  sed ante te est omne desiderium meum.  Sit desiderium tuum ante illum; et Pater qui videt in occult, reddet tibi (Matth. vi, 6).  Ipsum enim desiderium tuum, oratio tua est:  et si continuum desiderium, continua oratio.  Non enim frustra dixit Apostolous, Sine intermissione orantes (1 Thess. V, 17)."

     PL 36, col. 404.  Cf. the new critical edition in CSEL 93, ed. Clemens Weidmann (2003- ), as well as CCSL 39, ed. Eligius Dekkers and Iohannes Fraipont (1956).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

"An American will endure almost any insult except the charge that he is not progressive."

     Walter Lippmann, Public opinion (New York:  Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922), 108 (chap. 8, "Blind spots and their value").  But progressivism (an obsession with material progress) is here one of those "stereotypes" that creates "blind spots", and blind spots cover "up some fact, which if . . . taken into account, would check the vital movement that the stereotype provokes."  Their value is that they "keep away distracting images, which, with their attendant emotions, might cause hesitation and infirmity of purpose.  Consequently the stereotype not only saves time in a busy life and is a defense of our position in society, but [unfortunately] tends [also] to preserve us from all the bewildering effect of trying to see the world whole steadily and see it whole" (114).
     I was put onto this by Thomas C. Leonard, Illilberal reformers:  race, eugenics & American economics in the Progressive Era (Princeton and Oxford:  Princeton University Press, 2016), 194n23.