I want to make an appeal for conversation, for its extension and for thoughtful commitment to its practice. I am pleased to make this appeal now because I believe conversation has not died and that many people I know and love participate in conversations now and even more want to.
Laurus/Arseny/Ustin/Amvrosy was born on May 8 in 1440. I post this review today in honor of his birthday and in honor of St. Arsenius, from whom he derived his name.
Russia is to me a foreign country and the Middle Ages are an alien time. Consequently, to read a novel by a Russian author about medieval Russia pretty well guarantees that my understanding will be stretched.
My view of classical education is far more concerned with the real thing than with the word "classical." So drawing from the very long Chrisitan classical tradition, I would include Charlotte Mason in that tradition every bit as much as any body else because she:
1. Was a metaphysical realist (which post Dewey progressives are not, and this is crucial).
Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you."
The enemy does anything he can to keep us from asking, seeking, and knocking.
Three effective things include:
1. He convinces us that it has already been given and there is no more need to ask, that we have already found and there is no more need to seek, that the door has already been opened and there is no more need to knock.
Everybody loves math when they know it. When they don't, they think they hate math. What they really hate is not knowing it.
Everybody loves Bach's Mass in B Minor if they can hear it. When they can't, they think they hate Bach's Mass in B Minor. What they really hate is not being able to hear it.
The following passage from 1 Corinthians 3 sits on a plaque over the door in my family room at home.
Omnia enim vestra sunt
Vos autem Christi
Christus autem Dei
My friend Marc Hays had it specially burned for me to thank me for my role in the CiRCE apprenticeship, from which I was resigning when he gave it to me last summer.
The words are from when Paul is summarizing his argument against division with the infantile Corinthian church.
I have long revered this passage as a cure for Christian stoicism.
Over the past year the angst of the previous decade that arose from the anxiety of the previous half-century has been condensed into a few books that explore how Christians should respond now that we are marginalized by our ever-more secular culture.
When our Lord was crucified and buried, the disciples were traumatized and frightened beyond the imagination of the suburban American writing this post.
When He ascended into heaven, however, they were not sad or frightened. We learn mostly from Luke that they returned to Jerusalem rejoicing, that they “were continually in the temple praising and blessing God,” and that they went up into the upper room where they “continued together with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
People don't rise from the dead very often, though it has happened a few times. They don't often ascend to heaven either, though, again, there are a few accounts of it happening.
However, only once has anybody descended into hades, been raised from the dead, and then ascended into heaven in triumph, whence He could distribute the gifts of His triumph to His people.
Christ is risen from the dead, having trampled down death by death, and upon those in the tomb He has bestowed life.
In all the history of mankind, nobody has ever achieved what the Christ achieved during those three holy days from Good Friday through the new Pascha that He initiated when He was raised from the dead.