On Prigs and Self-Righteous Bullies


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I’m going to try to do a post today, even though I’ve done little thinking about much of anything for the last 10 days. I’m just now beginning to recover from a cold cum sinus infection that progressed with alarming speed into a nasty case of bronchitis. Bronchitis at this altitude (7,000 MSL) can be quite debilitating, even if it’s not particularly severe. I made what I hope is a final trip to the doctor yesterday and got a course of killer antibiotics that I think have already begun to make a difference. I hope to be back to what passes for normal for me next week. Bear with me for any incoherences I commit with this post. I see our Holy Father has a cold, so I guess I’m in good company and can take some consolation from that.

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One especially noteworthy event of the past week, in my opinion, is the collapse of plans to hold a black mass at Harvard. I’m amazed, and quite heartened, that young Catholic students at the university were able to fend this thing off. I think this is a major triumph over the forces of ignorance and, dare I say it, evil, so pervasive in the world we live in. It could only have come from the prayers of many Catholics and, as I said, it’s quite heartening.

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Actually, it wasn’t only students at Harvard who opposed the holding of a black mass, it looks like the president of the school also opposed the thing. Here’s a quote from the Catholic Culture website:

” ‘Vigorous and open discussion and debate are essential to the pursuit of knowledge,’ Faust said in a May 12 statement. Although she denounced the plans for a enactment of the black mass as “abhorrent,” she said that the principle of free speech on campus weighed against any action to stop the event. Faust announced:

‘I plan to attend a Eucharistic Holy Hour
and Benediction at St. Paul’s Church on our campus on Monday evening in order to join others in reaffirming our respect for the Catholic faith at Harvard and to demonstrate that the most powerful response to offensive speech is not censorship, but reasoned discourse and robust dissent.’ “

I think I agree with her.

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cropped-chesterton-2.jpgStill, as might be expected, Chesterton has a better answer:

“The devil can quote Scripture for his purpose; and the text of Scripture which he now most commonly quotes is, “The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” That text has been the stay and support of more Pharisees and prigs and self-righteous spiritual bullies than all the dogmas in creation; it has served to identify self-satisfaction with the peace that passes all understanding. And the text to be quoted in answer to it is that which declares that no man can receive the kingdom except as a little child. What we are to have inside is a childlike spirit; but the childlike spirit is not entirely concerned about what is inside. It is the first mark of possessing it that one is interested in what is outside. The most childlike thing about a child is his curiosity and his appetite and his power of wonder at the world. We might almost say that the whole advantage of having the kingdom within is that we look for it somewhere else.” G. K. Chesterton

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On the other hand, I see that the administration and student government of Notre Dame (of all places) has turned down the application of a pro-marriage, pro-life organization on campus. See the story here. There is still much work to do, apparently all the more on the campuses of so-called Catholic universities. And then, there’s Cardinal Kasper. It boggles the mind.

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Part of my sinus and bronchial problems has come, I suspect, from the crazy weather we’ve had in Colorado over the past two weeks. We’ve gone from several inches of snow and freeze warnings to rain and to bright sun and warm temperatures. Ah, springtime in the Rockies.

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There are many fine blogs participating in the weekly 7 Quick Takes posts that Jennifer Fulwiler graciously hosts each week. Please stop by there to read them all.