Friday, August 17, 2007

Is the Imitatio Christi really that anti-intellectual?

It has always struck me as odd that the Imitation of Christ is considered intellectual. How can one really argue with this?
Melior est profecto Rusticus humilis, qui Deo fervit, quam superbus
Philosophus, qui se neglecto cursum cæli confiderat. (Part I, Chapter 2)

If what is most important is salvation and to know God as he is in himself face to face, than anything, then we need to pursue that first. The problem here is not the intellect, but the neglect of charity.
Si scirem omnia quæ in mundo sunt, et non essem in charitate, quid me
juavert coram Deo, qui me judicaturus est ex facto?


Fred said...

I agree entirely (although I confess I've never read The Imitation of Christ).

Joe said...

The intellect is the highest faculty given to us by God but as the fathers of the Church teach us, it is also corrupted by the senses and the imagination. The intellect can be the most significant obstacle to union with God if the intellect becomes vain and deceives itself into thinking that it actually understands or sees God. God's essence is infinite and incomprehensible. We will never see the essence of God, not even in eternity. Perhaps this is what the "Imitation" is getting at? I know that this is the teaching of the fathers.