The Higher Activities of the Mind

A 7 Quick Takes on Friday Post


I’ve cleaned up the appearance of the blog by changing the theme, as you may notice. I like to keep things simple and uncluttered and that seems especially apt for the beginning of the Lenten season. I hope you like it.


I found this quote from Fr Schall’s column this week in The Catholic Thing. He’s writing about pleasures and those pleasures which are appropriate to being fully human, which to Fr Schall, means striving to know what’s real or what’s true and involves the hard work of thinking. Even the ancients recognized not everyone is up to that.

“The word, “pleasures,” is reserved for feeling with a physical manifestation – eating, drinking, seeing, touching, smelling, or hearing, that is, the senses, which are also constitutive parts of being human. Aristotle noticed that we are not just souls loosely attached to bodies. Rather, we are each one being in which the body is fashioned by the soul ultimately so that we can know. Socrates understood that all “creatures” enjoy being pleased and delighted. He suspected, however, that not everyone can or will “attain” the higher activities of the mind. He does not deny that everyone can, in some sense, think, but not all find it particularly “agreeable” or absorbing.”


The blogger, Jude-Marion, had a very good post on his blog today that helped me with some issues I’ve been dealing with over the last couple of months. The problem arising from the very rough treatment Pope Francis has been receiving from the blogosphere. I’ve read posts from some very conservative Catholics saying, in effect, that Francis was a heretic or out to destroy the Church. I don’t believe that although I do think much of his message is rather fuzzy and unfocused. Yet, what Jude-Marion was saying comes down to something by Pope Benedict in, if memory serves, his Introduction to Christianity — Christianity isn’t a religion of the book, it’s a religion of a person, one Person, Jesus Christ. Whatever goes on in the Church, whatever rules appear to be broken, they are only secondary to faith in Jesus. I find it all too easy at times to lose sight of that.


image“O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

“But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to your servant.

“Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sin and not to judge my brother, for You are blessed from all ages to all ages. Amen”

― Ephrem the Syrian


This Sunday marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time, that ridiculous invention of governments designed to fool people into thinking they can change the movements of the sun. Would someone please, please start a movement to settle on one, and only one, method of timekeeping and leave it at that? Anyway, don’t forget to set your clocks up Saturday night before retiring.


“Nothing, how little so ever it be, if it is suffered for God’s sake, can pass without merit in the sight of God.” Thomas a Kempis


I wonder what would happen if someone only did 6 quick takes for one of these posts? Banishment to blogging limbo? Restriction of all blogging rights for a week? I don’t know, and don’t want to find out. I urge you, though, to investigate all the efforts of those honest bloggers who actually did 7 Quick Takes at Jennifer Fulwiler’s Conversion Diary blog. Have a good week and a blessed Lent.


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