Saturday, March 2, 2019

"Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, unto all thy servants, that they . . . may be delivered from present sadness [(tristitia)], and enter into the joy of thine eternal gladness [(laetitia)]."

"Concede nos famulos tuos quaesumus, domine deus, perpetua mentis et corporis sanitate gaudere et, gloriosa beatae Mariae semper virginis intercessione a praesenti liberari tristitia et futura perfrui laetitia.  Per."

     This prayer occurs in the mid-9th century Sacramentary of Modena (Modena, Biblioteca capitolare, ms O.II.7) and other later 9th-century manuscripts of the Gregorian sacramentary, and then often later on.  See Corpus orationum no. 706 (vol. 1, p. 344), which gives a number of variant readings, including aeterna for futura in Arbuth, Curia-Ott, Herford, Nivern, Sarum, and West II, none of those earlier than the 11th century (Nivern).


Friday, March 1, 2019

“perennial prodigies, . . . heirs to a lost sacred mission, . . . strangers among the people they called ‘the people.’”

     "To be a true intelligent meant being religious about being secular; asking 'the accursed questions' over lunch and dinner; falling deeper and deeper into doubt and confusion as a matter of principle; and feeling both chosen and damned for being better educated, more intelligent, and more honest than one’s milieu.  Whether a member of the intelligentsia could find the answers to the accursed questions and still be a member of the intelligentsia was open to question.  Lenin thought not (and did not consider himself one).  The authors of the antiradical manifesto Signposts believed there were no nondoctrinaire intelligentsia members left (and considered themselves an exception).  Most people used the term to refer to both the conscious and the confident—as long as they remained self-conscious about being better educated, more intelligent, and more honest than their milieu.  The proportion of those who had overcome doubt kept growing.  Most believed in the coming revolution; more and more knew that it would be followed by socialism."

     I.e. the eschaton.  Yuri Slezkine, The House of Government:  a saga of the Russian Revolution (Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press, 2017), 24.  The headline is from p. 23.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

"The overall movement of modernity is a passage from magic to technology".

"Magic represents an effort to transform miracle-working into a permanent ability of man. . . .
     "The modern enterprise of a conquest of nature has the same project as magic. . . . it reconnects with late antiquity by bypassing the Christian Middle Ages.  The latter was little tempted by magic, which the Bible forbids. . . .
     "Contrary to what is often said, magic has nothing medieval about it.  To the contrary, in this area the Middle Ages represented a step back.  Its revival is one of the traits of modernity.  It was tied to the rediscovery by the Florentine Renaissance of pagan Neoplatonism, which gave it philosophical dignity. . . . In a general way, the Renaissance was not an age of the progress of rationality; rather, it was accompanied by a rebirth of credulity.  'The Renaissance was occultist, that is why the University classifies it among the eras of progress.'  The century of Enlightenment was also that of charlatans, of Cagliostro, Mesmer, the Rose-Croix or Masonic sects.  Without speaking of the complicity between socialism and occultism throughout the nineteenth century.
     "The overall movement of modernity is a passage from magic to technology, which took over for the discredited magic."

     RĂ©mi Brague, The kingdom of man:  genesis and failure of the modern project, trans. Paul Seaton (Notre Dame, IN:  University of Notre Dame Press, 2018), 53-55.