Hymnus Deo

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I live in Greensboro, NC.

CNN reports: Historic New York restaurant Tavern on the Green will be serving its last meal tonight after being unable to avoid bankruptcy. This is why I love New York-based cable news channels. They always report on things that have a great bearing on my life.

"Oh, My God!" by Billy Collins

Not only in church
and nightly by their bedsides
do young girls pray these days

Wherever they go,
prayer is woven into their talk
like a bright thread of awe

Even at the pedestrian mall
outbursts of praise
spring unbidden from their glossy lips.

Friday, December 25, 2009

C. S. Lewis on Theology and Devotional Literature

Now the layman or amateur needs to be instructed as well as to be exhorted. In this age his need for knowledge is particularly pressing. Nor would I admit any sharp division between the two kinds of book. For my own part I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.

-- C. S. Lewis, from his introduction to "On the Incarnation of the Word of God" ("De Incarnatione Verbi Dei") by St. Athanasius

Monday, December 07, 2009

And Politicians, and Televangelists, and That Snake Lucifer...

"Consul," remarked the detective, dogmatically, "great robbers always resemble honest folks. Fellows who have rascally faces have only one course to take, and that is to remain honest; otherwise they would be arrested off-hand. The artistic thing is, to unmask honest countenances; it's no light task, I admit, but a real art."

--Around the World in Eighty Days, Chapter 6, Jules Verne

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Idolatry of Rationalism

The Manicheans did no idols make
Without themselves, nor worship gods of wood,
Yet idols did in their Ideas take,
And figured Christ as on the cross he stood.
Thus did they when they earnestly did pray
Till clearer Faith this idol took away.

We seem more inwardly to know the Son
And see our own salvation in his blood
When this is said, we think the work is done
And with the Father hold our portion good,
As if true life within these words were laid
For him that in life never words obeyed.

If this be safe, it is a pleasant way,
The Cross of Christ is very easily borne;
But six days' labour makes the sabbath day,
The flesh is dead before grace can be born,
The heart must first bear witness with the book,
The earth must burn, ere we for Christ can look.

--Sonnet 89, from Caelica, by Lord Brooke Fulke Greville (1554-1628)