Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Zeitgeist as Fog not Wind
"We live in an age that keeps authoritative institutions, philosophies, and religions at arm's length, mixing and matching and analyzing them with a market-place mentality.
There is a fear of change, but who wouldn't be afraid of change? St Augustine in The Confessions is a freshman in college and reads this book by Cicero that is a call to pursue wisdom for its own sake, so he says it changes his life and he goes after wisdom, but at the moment of his conversion, he looks back on the previous ten or twelve years and, although he set off to pursue wisdom, he realized that nothing really changed, because he didn't really want to be different.
It's scary. Our habits whisper in our ear and tell us that without them we wouldn't be who we really are. And Augustine says that in the end that's right. We wouldn't be who we are. Part of the genius of The Confessions is to affirm that the journey of faith really is a death to self; it is a really disjunctive and wrenching kind of transformation. Who wouldn't be frightful in the face of that?"
R.R. Reno, author of "In the Ruins of the Church: Sustaining Faith in an Age of Diminishing Christianity"