There are an abundance of how-to books out there. Whether for the 'spiritual' or the skeptical, the methodology varies little. In fact, pagan methodologies are being touched up to fit 'Christian' seminars, with the catch-words, Silence and Solitude, or perhaps Stillness. Everyone wants the benefits. Everyone seems to need relief from busyness and stress. But … Continue reading Do you meditate? How?
In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that--and, therefore, know yourself as nothing in comparison--you do not know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and of course, as long as you are looking down, you … Continue reading Do you Know God? Here’s a test.
C.S. Lewis provides a Biblical perspective and critique of modern literary criticism. Though this address was first delivered in 1939, Lewis' unease with the key concepts of literary tradition—namely self-expression, creativity, spontaneity and freedom from rules—is at least as pertinent today as it was in his time. To be 'yourself' is one of the highest … Continue reading Creativity and the Christian
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is a democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. p.64-5 In a generation that is quick to suspect (and scorn) all that is 'old-school', Chesterton's … Continue reading Orthodoxy: The Ethics of Elfland
Chapter three of Chesterton's Orthodoxy was a chapter I weathered more than enjoyed. In it Chesterton reviews the philosophical thought of his times, citing such men as Nietzsche, Tolstoy, and Shaw and others less well known. Always one to blast an opponent with generosity and humor he cites Mr. Bernard Shaw as typifying his times in … Continue reading The Suicide of Thought–Chesterton
"Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness. Believing utterly in one's self is a hysterical and superstitious belief like believing in Joanna Southcote." --G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, p.10 [Southcote was a self-proclaimed but deluded prophetess in late eighteenth century England]. When asked by a publisher friend: "Well, if a man is … Continue reading G.K. on “The Sin of Self-Confidence”
...how very quickly, in my own experience, the lawful pleasure of praise from those whom it was my duty to please turns into the deadly poison of self-admiration. But I thought I could detect a moment—a very, very short moment—before this happened, during which the satisfaction of having pleased those whom I rightly loved and … Continue reading Oh that will be glory for me!
If Christianity could tell me no more of the far-off land than my own temperament led me to surmise already, then Christianity would be no higher than myself. If it has more to give me, I must expect it to be less immediately attractive than “my own stuff”.... If our religion is something objective, then … Continue reading When Scripture is Repellent
“Christian consciousness experiences itself in a curious sense as LIBERATED TO FAIL, without intolerable damage to self-esteem and without any reduction of moral seriousness. We are free to be inadequate, free to foul things up, and yet affirm ourselves in a more basic sense than the secular moralist or humanistic idealist (who can affirm themselves … Continue reading Free to fail!
January is my time of year for creating ambitious book lists. I dove into this year's reading with three books at once-- Chesterton's Orthodoxy, Pressfield's War of Art, and a creative biography mixed with personal memoir, The Paper Garden. But all of these took a back seat to Elizabeth Goudge's The Scent of Water when … Continue reading The Scent of Water*