Monday, January 24, 2005

Restoration of Christian Culture

I've discovered a neat book called The Restoration of Christian Culture by John Senior, one of those guys that had that great books program of KU. I am a little wary because some of the material first appeared in the Remnant. Oh, well. I do like these quotes:

No matter what our expertise, no matter what we are by vocation or trade, we are
all lovers; and while only the experts in each field must know mathematics and
the sciences and other arts, everyone must be a poet in the ordinary way to
salvation. (p. 13)

What is Christian Culture? It is essentially the
Mass. That is not my or anyone's opinion or theory or wish but the central fact
of two thousand years of history. Christendom, what secularists call Western
Civilization, is the Mass and the paraphernalia which protect and facilitate it.
All architecture, art, political and social forms, economics, the way people
live and feel and think, music, literature--all these things when they are
right, are ways of fostering and protecting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (pp.

I fear sometimes that conservatives, not just liberals, are like
the Pharisees--Catholics, but with a strong, unloving determination to be right;
whereas the Camino Real of Christ is a chivalric way, romantic, full of
fire and passion, riding on the pure, high-spirited horses of the self with
their glad, high-stepping knees and flaring nostrils, and us with jingling spurs
and the cry, "Mon joie!"--the battle cry of Roland and Olivier. (p. 18)

As the Old Law forbade the eating of all meat animals save ruminants, we
should forbid all criticism--which thrives by tearing the flesh of texts into
footnotes and appendices--in favor of an appreciative, ruminating savor of the
most ordinary, obvious verse. (pp. 19-20)

But then it is true, isn't it.
Music is deeper than having fun; there is something sad even about the merriest

Our Lord explains in the Parable of the Sower that the seed of
his love will only grow in a certain soil--and that is the soil of Christian
culture, which is the work of music in the wide sense, including as well as
tunes that are sung, art, literature, games, architectures--all so many
instruments in the orchestra which plays day and night the music of lovers; and
if it is disordered, then the love of Christ will not grow. IT is an obvious
matter of fact that here in the Unites States now, the Devil has seized these
instruments to play a danse macabre, a dance of death, especially
through what we call the "media', the television, radio, record, book, magazine
and newspaper industries. The restoration of culture, spiritually, morally,
physically, demands the cultivation of the soil in which the love of Christ can
grow, and that means we must, as they say, rethink priorities. (pp. 23-24)

[commenting on the Song of Songs, esp. the passage starting, "Arise,
make hast, my love, my beautiful one, and come"] I fear no girl will ever hear
that song again from some young man in the spring of her life whom she might
marry, or boy or girl, in the autumn, from Christ. (p. 24)

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