“There is only one problem in the whole world….” Wherein Fr. Z has a mini-rant.

“There is only one problem in the whole world: restoring spiritual sense in people. Showering on them something like a Gregorian chant.” – Saint-Exupéry

Simple? Too simple? Perhaps. Faith is the last thing that sinners lose, after charity, first, and then hope. Believers sin all the time.

Ven. Pius XII said that the sin of the 20th century was the loss of the sense of sin. We have to restore a “spiritual sense”, which includes a sense of sin and a sense of the transcendent. Both of these have been undermined for many decades now, first by the horrors of the 20th century and the cynicism that resulted from post-war prosperity, and, within Holy Church herself, from disobedience to God and through the hijacking of the Second Vatican Council. In short, we are spiritually crippled because of attacks on our identity from without and from within. Many have become spiritual and temporal cripples without a sense of the transcendent and without a sense of sin… and without love or hope of faith.

Holy Catholic Church is the only structure in the world proportioned to the task of addressing our metastasizing spiritual cancer. Only the Church, whose constitution is divine, can bring the Saviour’s healing and purifiying words and deeds into the public square and propose them as an alternative to the culture of death that now reigns.

The Church, however, cannot make effective contribution in the public square if we Catholics don’t know who we are and do not put our identity into concrete living.

We cannot recover our Catholic identity without true worship of God as Catholics.

A revitalization of our Catholic worship is the sine qua non for the renewal of our Church, our voice in the public square, and the New Evangelization.

Why would we pursue such a project? Not because of societal artifacts or knock-on effects in cultural, or good taste, or even for the sake of safety.

We must do this in charity, in imitation of Christ’s own Sacrifical love demonstrated on the Cross.

So, why do any of this? Why take on the challenges and subject ourselves to the work and ridicule?

Because we want to keep as many people out of Hell as possible.

We want to share the happiness of heaven with as many of our neighbors as possible, so that God’s glory maybe magnified by that many more joyous hearts fulfilled.

We must reclaim our worship, our identity, and our voice in the public square so that we can carry out the work Christ entrusted to Holy Church: the salvation of souls.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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34 Responses to “There is only one problem in the whole world….” Wherein Fr. Z has a mini-rant.

  1. PostCatholic says:

    I read through your entire rant because you led it with a quote from one of my favorite writers of modern spirituality, whose works I have re-read many times. I don’t recognize the source, though: where in his oeuvre did you find it? Wind, Sand and Stars, perhaps?

    I would also love to hear you expand upon and perhaps defend your statement that faith is lost last, after the other theological virtues.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    The materialist ideologies have succeeded in making the here and now of the supposed messianic age of complete equality and liberty a reality. The spiritual sense is lost, I think, when Beauty, which is an attribute of God, is destroyed. Thomas Cromwell and Oliver Cromwell did this, Lenin and Stalin did this, the Gang of Four and Mao did this and so on.
    When the Church is persecuted, it thrives, but when materialists’ ideals, such as held by Marx and the ne-communists of the EU and now those in charge of the White House hold sway, ugliness follows. Look at those horrible shells of ex-Soviet cities in Eastern Europe-soulless and ugly.

    What keeps beauty? The Tridentine Mass, with Gregorian Chant. That civilization was rebuilt by the Benedictines after the fall of Rome (the timing is a miracle of grace) was owing to the keeping by the monks of the liberal arts, the Trivium, the Quadrivium and the development of Chant.

    St. Anselm re-introduced all these things in his renewal of the seminaries across Europe. That is what we need now. We have ordained men who barely know anything of Beauty, Who is God. They are materialists, pragmatists, and the seminarians are being made into businessmen instead of gentlemen, as described by Newman.

    Without the Beauty of the Mass, without the Chant, we dissolve back into barbarism.
    And, the architecture, the glory of the Church in art, decorated missals, statues, are these not called “the Church’s monuments”? I bet very few seminarians have heard about that. In other words, monuments are part of the sacred heritage passed down from one generation to the next-like the Chant and stained glass windows. And NO priest, bishop or lay person has the right to destroy these. Iconoclasm is a heresy.

    My rant added onto to yours, Father, for the complete restoration of the Tridentine Mass and the Chant. Otherwise, we are doomed to centuries of ugliness, the materialist dialectic and persecution. Evil is ugly. Beauty is God and we who are created in His Image and Likeness (St. Bernard of Clarivaux says we kept the image but lost the likeness) need to cultivate Beauty. And I challenge my sisters to start with themselves….

  3. jacobi says:

    Fr.,
    How right you are. There has been a retreat from Faith, and the sense of sin, by Catholics as well as by the secular world. And yet the Church is the only body that can renew Faith as was called for by Vatican II.
    But we need to put our own house in order first. Personally, I believe that the Church has been badly wounded by false interpretations of the Council in the post Vatican II period.

    Two priorites here are the Reform of the Reform, so that Catholic belief in the Mass and all that stems from it is again made clear, and a closely related issue, which is the recent call for a Syllabus of Errors to correct false interpretations of Vatican II.

  4. joan ellen says:

    Wow! 1 Problem. Thank you Fr. Z for this post. This 1 can surely help restore our identity as Catholics.
    Supertradmum: Thank you so very much. I recently finished an Amish book about wearing plain clothes. This inspired me to make a small 8×10 ‘poster’ of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit for a parish bulletin board (includes modesty and chastity from DR version). Would like to include another, but it is ‘so in the face’ prudence says no. This 8×10 has 3×5 cards glued to it, hand printed with marker pen. Center card The Latest Fashion Trend – Plain Clothes.
    Left card – the word Men. Right Card Women. Lower Left card, a man’s long sleeved shirt and long pants. Lower Right card, (both in very elementary drawings) a woman’s long sleeved, ‘long skirt’ dress.
    I am hopeful this is 1 of the challenges you had in mind for your sisters. Or did I miss the boat?

    p.s. This past Sunday yet another man complained to some of us women re: the attire on some women at Mass, and how that interferes with his prayer. Also I made 2 (so far) slip over the head A line dresses…no buttons…zippers, etc. Put a modesty top over, and off to Mass. [Uh oh.]

  5. joan ellen says:

    Would also like to mention type in the words Plain Catholics in your search engine of choice.
    Also: the New Catholic Land Movement. There is Faith and Hope, and hopefully Charity too!
    Well, actually, the whole spiritual sense is being restored in me by these Catholics.
    p.s. And we can be quite agrarian with just a back porch!!! Even just a window sill.

  6. PostCatholic says: defend your statement that faith is lost last, after the other theological virtues.

    Common sense and a pretty standard understanding.

    Your mortal sin loses charity right away. Mired in sin, you lose hope. But you still believe. Even after you lose hope, you still believe. And pain increases.

    However, theological virtues are complicated. What theological faith and natural faith mean are hard to sort. Still, as we read in James, even devils believe, though they tremble. They have no love or hope, but they still believe in God and the mysteries He revealed to them. They reject them, but they believe them. Horrifying.

    Remember Lumen gentium 14:

    This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.

    Faith, friend, is the last thing to die in the soul. Charity goes first, and faith last.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    This, Father Z. is the sin which Christ referred to as the “unforgivable sin”. If one knows really that the Catholic Church is necessary and refuses, how sad. On my blog, I have doing a mini-series on Mystici Corporis Christi and Dominus Iesus, which re-iterate what is in your chosen quotation above. The Catholic Church is our only door to salvation.

    Grace is given to all. And, how horrible is your true description of hell. And, I think I am correct in saying that the virtue of charity is first, love of God, followed by love of neighbor. Of course, that would go first. It is much harder to love than to believe and have hope.

    I beg God to give me His Sacred Heart for my puny unloving heart. That is the only way.

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Amish dress the way they do, because they are essentially a religious order. A heretical, separatist religious order. They’re one step away from being Shakers. (Although obviously their theology and background is way different.)

    It’s my suspicion, recently, that the Amish trendiness in our culture is mostly a case of unrequited love for Catholic nuns and brothers and their habits. People look for that black and white pattern out in the world, and mostly only see Amish at the supermarket.

    Dressing more modestly is a good thing, and I’ve worn multi-layered medieval clothes outdoors in the summer for fun, as a historical recreation buff. So I know there are ways not to suffer too much. But. There’s a huge freaking difference between “dressing like a normal modest person,” “enjoying dress-up costume fun,” and “dressing like Amish — not even reformed Amish, but Amish”. Heck, my mother is a modestly dressed woman. She frequently accuses me of “dressing like a nun.” And I am telling you that “plain clothes” is way, way too much.

    If you need inspiration on how to dress, why not look at photos of Catholic women from the past? And yes, Fr. Greeley was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right about Catholic women being supposed to take the trouble to dress stylishly (even if inexpensively) and make the most of their appearance, as a gift to God and their fellow human beings. You don’t have to look sexy, but both men and women should look snappy and happy and be kind to the eye. Take pride in being a laywoman living in the world, or use your romantic love of God constructively by finding a lay order or community or sodality to join, instead of play-acting somebody else’s religion.

  9. Sissy says:

    Suburbanbanshee: I think the Amish dress today does has the same effect of marking them as a religious order, but I’m not sure that is their actual motivation for maintaining it. I spent 9 years with a modernized off-shoot Anabaptist community, and their explanation is that the the more strict groups do not adopt any practice that isn’t mentioned in the Bible. I was told that the different branches of the Anabaptist surviving in the West are divided into groups who say “it’s ok if the Bible doesn’t forbid it” vs those that say “It’s ok if the Bible affirms it”. So, the Amish take that more strict approach and simply don’t adopt any modern fashion or innovation that has arisen since they first organized. I was told this by lay people who have no real education in the matter, so it could be just their own interpretation of the differences. I’m only passing along information I was given by people from a related group, not making a claim of expertise in the area….this view could well be inaccurate from an academic standpoint.

  10. Sissy says:

    PS: Suburbanbanshee: I agree with you completely about proper dress for a Catholic woman. To dress well is completely compatible with dressing modestly; I would say modesty is an essential element in dressing well and looking ones best. I think beauty is a very Catholic value and is not to be avoided. God loves beauty; He created it.

  11. RichR says:

    As a member of a men’s Schola cantorum, I can attest to the power of “showering them with a Gregorian chant.”. We’re a decent group, but because of the solemnity of the music itself, some people have been brought to tears. Even a routine OF Mass can be transformed into “the most beautiful Mass I’ve ever been to,” as one parishioner said when we visited one Sunday. Most pele are very eager for us to come back, and some have even told us, “I want you to sing at my funeral.”.

    The music really does awaken spiritual senses.

  12. Supertradmum: Great rant at 5:44 pm 8/3. A fine model of how to rant beautifully about the loss of Beauty–that is, Truth–in the post-Vatican II era.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Henry Edwards, St. Augustine is my inspiration, as is St. Bernard of Clairvaux. They understood and loved the Beauty “Ever Ancient, Ever New”. I am not sure we can rebuild and sing in what Shakespeare here laments in Sonnet 73.

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west;
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
    Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
    This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

  14. PostCatholic says:

    Thank you for that explanation. It’s one I’ll puzzle over; to be very honest my experience of others is of the persistence of hope long after there is no reason to keep faith. And it’s been so long since I’ve adhered to concepts of “mortal sin” that I did forget to make that a starting place for the logic you presented.

    And really, I’d be very grateful if you were to point me to the source of that lovely Saint-Exupéry quotation. I flipped through the back chapters of Wind, Sand and Stars and Vol de Nuit last night (they live on my nightstand!) and couldn’t find a mention of Gregorian chant.

  15. Horatius says:

    RichR, what good news. Thank you for the part you are playing in restoring our Church. However, I think one should be very careful to follow the Holy Father–one rite, two forms– and thus let all of our language reflect that reality. I attend the Ordinary Form replete with Gregorian Chant, sung by Benedictine monks and sisters, and concluded with Terce, also chanted. We never leave in under 1.5 hrs. But there is no such thing as a “routine OF.” The OF was intended to keep Chant. So your great work joins with that of Vatican II.

    Of course, the crimes committed against the OF need no rehearsing here, and anything in our world could be routinized. Besides being true and proper, the OF is the de facto form in most parishes. Those millions of Catholics have no idea of its proper celebration, much less of the EF, and I was one of them, too, in both regards. We must be careful with our language and the result will be charity to those millions. I expect His Holiness assumes as much in Summorum pontificorum.

    God bless.

  16. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    Thank you for that explanation. It’s one I’ll puzzle over; to be very honest my experience of others is of the persistence of hope long after there is no reason to keep faith.

    Faith is kind of knowledge. Hope is often considered the desire for the object of that knowledge, knowing it’s difficult but possible.

    For example: A NE Pats player knows have a good team, thus it’s possible (though a difficult road) that they win the Super Bowl this year. He hopes that they do. But he can still think that they have a good team and a possible SB winner, but not hope that they win. He can adopt contraries to such hope by a) presuming that they win, or b) despairing of it.

    Someday, God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, I’m going to write an article on the Virtue of Hope and the doctrine of Purgatory.

    And it’s been so long since I’ve adhered to concepts of “mortal sin” that I did forget to make that a starting place for the logic you presented.

    Well, then substitute “disordered act” for “sin” and “seriousness” for mortal”.

    Continuing the sports analogy: An important member of the Pats can be 5 minutes late to one practice or miss 3 days of practice due to negligence. Obviously, the latter is more serious. In the case of the latter, it indicates a lack of hope that the team will win the SB, instead substituting presumption that they’ll win or despair of its possibility.

  17. Horatius says:

    “Lettre au général X”-that’s the source for Saint Exupéry.

  18. LisaP. says:

    Gals, do clarify please! [No, I think not. Let's review what the top entry is all about and them push the reset button. Okay?]
    I admire women who are beautifully put together, many of my friends are lovely women with lovely style. But I have neither the inclination nor the resources to go that way. I try to keep clean and neat and modest, and to keep from wearing stained clothing. But my clothes are worn, my hair is cut by my husband, my face goes without makeup even though I’m too old for that to be cute anymore, and I dress in what is comfortable, practical, and often what is given to me — so any of that “dress to accentuate your good features and to downplay your unattractive features” stuff is out the window.

    You’re not suggesting that is somehow displeasing to God, right? There’s room for natural variation in ability, inclination, and budget (both time and money, since I’m sure if I spent more time on it I could have a better “look” without spending too much on it — Goodwill is fab!) in the Catholic female crowd, right? [Thus, closeth the rabbit hole.]

  19. Sissy says:

    LisaP, thanks for bringing it up. Your description – clean, neat, modest – is my definition of a woman at her best. I haven’t worn a speck of makeup for 20 years. My husband trims my hair, too. I think women as they are, as you describe, are beautiful. I don’t think we need to do more to ornament ourselves, nor do I think we need to deliberately make ourselves drab. That’s my two cents. [And they were the last two on that topic.]

  20. Sissy says:

    My apologies, Father.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    LisaP, Beauty is not having material wealth to get your hair done. I cut my own hair and I have no talent for this. I stopped wearing make-up ages ago as it was too expensive and I felt “fake”. I either get clothes from the second hand store or good people give them to me.

    But, I am feminine and I try and walk and talk in a beautiful fashion. I eat like a lady and try to be a lady in the world. I remember a great line from a children’s book, The Little Princess, in which the girl said, “No, I am not a princess, but I try to act like one.” That is what I mean by being beautiful. Embracing our womanhood does not mean we need to dress like the Amish, which is a good, but not necessarily Catholic in the world. Beauty is first of all interior-the virtues lived daily and the graces lived so that others can tell we are daughters of a King. We do not need money to do this. I can assure you of this, as I am poor, but try and be beautiful.

    Do not the good nuns wear the same two habits, one for summer and one for winter, as the Benedictines do here in England and look beautiful? It is an attitude, a being comfortable with being a child of God and heir to heaven.

    You are fine. I am sure you are beautiful. Live in God, as His daughter, look to Mary…do not worry.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    sorry Father, but those last two were not posted when I wrote this. I apologize.

  23. NO no no no no…. this isn’t going to happen.

    If you want to talk about women’s clothing go HERE.

    Really.

  24. LisaP. says:

    Oky ducky!

  25. PostCatholic says:

    robtbrown, thanks. In a post-Christian framework the traditional theological virtues apply but the definitions are nuanced differently; what is considered divine usually is not understood as a deity with which one needs to keep oneself in personal relationship. You could see James Luther Adams, Tillich or Cahill for this thought to be more precisely expressed. I only mention this because it’s key to understanding that while I agree that there is a dearth of spiritual sense in the world, I had a different beginning point from Rev. Zuhlsdorf. Liberal Religion (that’s a taxanomic term and not one of politics) most often does not subscribe to a doctrine of sin. I do like your substitutions and your analogy; where I differ, I think, is in the notion that there’s an “order” to which can be compared “disordered acts,” or that these have the power to rupture redemptive love present in the divine.

    I’m reminded of an elderly friend who went to see his dying wife twice a day (for many reasons, an enormous personal effort) in the nursing home long after her mental faculties were gone. He would often say the situation was “futile, but it’s not hopeless,” and I took that a departure to consider the theological virtues in action. In the action of his love the other theological virtues were present–keeping faith with the dignity of the person his wife and of his history with her; the search for meaning, understanding and inspiration (fair to call this the hope?) that attends long-term illness and its caretakers; and of course the tremendous enduring love that motivated and underpinned all of that. Paul writes in the the second epistle to the Corinthians that the greatest of the theological virtues is love (charity), so I guess I’m surprised by the thought that it could be the most delicate.

    In any event, there’s a great deal of careful thought in the logic presented by Rev. Zuhlsdorf. We have begun from different fundamentals and I will be giving his explanation quite a bit of rumination for what I can glean.

    Horatius, thanks very much for the source of the Saint-Exupéry quote. That was going to bother me!

  26. Horatius says:

    You are welcome, PostCatholic. The Monks at Le Barroux posted that quotation months ago, the first time I ran across it. The French sense of beauty is impeccable. Proust loved the Old Mass and regretted what, he knew, the law would do to it.

  27. Vecchio di Londra says:

    PostCatholic, Horatius; That was Saint-Exupéry’s last letter, written on the eve of his death. (He even envisages the possibility of death on this dangerous wartime flight.) The letter is permeated with a philosophical impatience with the world of the machine that had come to be during his lifetime, and a longing for a more spiritual world. He recalls a journey through Provence in 1940 when he had no car, and drove a horse and cart instead, the way that the enforced slower speed made the olive trees and the sheep take on an entirely different rhythm and a stronger sense of life. ‘I feel sad for my generation, which is empty of all human substance: which has known only bars, maths, Bugattis, as a form of spiritual life…One cannot live off fridges, politics, account balances, crosswords…If I come back alive, I shall only have one problem: what I can and must say to humanity.’
    I hope it is not side-tracking to quote a little of the letter – it is one of his most moving pieces of writing.
    “Je hais mon époque de toutes mes forces. L’homme y meurt de soif.
    Ah ! Général, il n’y a qu’un problème, un seul de par le monde. Rendre aux hommes une signification spirituelle, des inquiétudes spirituelles, faire pleuvoir sur eux quelque chose qui ressemble à un chant grégorien. On ne peut vivre de frigidaires, de politique, de bilans et de mots croisés, voyez-vous ! On ne peut plus vivre sans poésie, couleur ni amour. Rien qu’à entendre un chant villageois du 15 ème siècle, on mesure la pente descendue. Il ne reste rien que la voix du robot de la propagande (pardonnez-moi). Deux milliards d’hommes n’entendent plus que le robot, ne comprennent plus que le robot, se font robots.
    Tous les craquements des trente dernières années n’ont que deux sources : les impasses du système économique du XIX ème siècle et le désespoir spirituel.”

  28. Horatius says:

    Tante grazie, Vecchio di Londra. Absolutely wonderful reply.

    Yes, all too true, and moving, what you quote (and put in such sharp relief with the context you so beautifully provide). I would suggest a bookend for this tragic piece is a pathetic one, equally true, from the previous century: Propos sur l’art by Rodin, who saw the direction that same 19th century was taking mankind and said so quite trenchantly.

  29. joan ellen says:

    Fr. Z, I am so very sorry for causing a rabbit hole. I did not mean to do that. The sights and sounds at Holy Mass – readings, Gospel, Consecration, Sacrament, candles, insense, chant/polyphonic music, Greek/Latin language, and incense maintain, add to, and restore my spiritual sense. The church with Crucifix, lavabo table, perpetual light, statuary, especially the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph do also. Attire on the statuary, from neck to ankle, vestments on the priest, and altar boy attire complete this spiritual sense and holy picture for me. Some parishioner attire interferes with this picture. Perhaps I should have said it this way. I will try to do better in the future.
    joan ellen

  30. joan ellen says:

    incense. sorry.

  31. PostCatholic says:

    Thank you, Vecchio di Londra! I remember that now from Le Sens de Vie and I guess I forgot the passage because the robot imagery overpowered the Gregorian chant… Saint-Exupéry was a marvel at understanding the universality of religious need. I most admire his Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des Hommes, much more fun read in French, and you and Horatius seem fluent). Horatius, I’ll try and track down the Rodin, but does it have more to offer than lament?

  32. The Cobbler says:

    @PostCatholic: It’s also worth noting that the Christian Theological Virtues are defined as being thsoe that are inherently ordered toward God, Who we believe is… to put it in a flagrant oversimplification, let us say “non-fuzzy” — what is meant by the everyday uses of the terms “specific” and “definite”, though not at all what is meant by any technical meaning I know of the latter and only a certain limited sense of the former, that God is This Thing and not just anything, let alone everything (and that risks tangenting onto the whole matter that we believe God’s omnipotence such that He can and did create beings truly distinct from Himself, and the related matter of creating some capable of knowledge of Himself — not complete and exhaustive knowledge, but valid knowledge that doesn’t change on a whim; but that’s for another discussion)… And now I’ve gone and done that thing where I put a paragraph’s worth of related information in a string of parenthetical and subordinate clauses, sorry… But I was saying, the Christian with any introduction to theology will typically make a distinction between the ordinary human virtue of faith or hope or charity towards his fellow human beings and the equivalent inherently directed toward God Himself, and with such a distinction made most of your examples would not be considered acts of Theological Virtue under the Christian understanding of God unless they were all acts of Hope and Charity performed in Faith in God — obviously, under such a strict definition, it would be possible (however silly and fruitless) to have Faith in God without Hoping in Him or acting in Charity because of that Faith, but not the other way around.

    Granted, I’m not sure you didn’t already see that… but I figured I’d point it out just in case… and will now quietly slip out with my shifty eyes to leave you all to reading French that’s probably clearer than my English…

  33. PostCatholic says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, The Cobbler. They add a bit of precision to the conversation. I would only add that there are different understandings of “God” at work in post-Christian theologies. Dogmatists might call them fuzzy, sure.

  34. joan ellen says:

    “There is only one problem in the whole world….” Wherein Fr. Z has a mini-rant.
    Posted on 3 August 2012 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    “There is only one problem in the whole world: restoring spiritual sense in people. Showering on them something like a Gregorian chant.” – Saint-Exupéry
    “Simple? Too simple? Perhaps. Faith is the last thing that sinners lose, after charity, first, and then hope. Believers sin all the time.” – Fr. Z
    Horatius says:
    4 August 2012 at 12:52 pm
    ““Lettre au général X”-that’s the source for Saint Exupéry.”
    Vecchio di Londra says:
    4 August 2012 at 3:33 pm
    “PostCatholic, Horatius; That was Saint-Exupéry’s last letter, written on the eve of his death. (He even envisages the possibility of death on this dangerous wartime flight.) The letter is permeated with a philosophical impatience with the world of the machine that had come to be during his lifetime, and a longing for a more spiritual world. He recalls a journey through Provence in 1940 when he had no car, and drove a horse and cart instead, the way that the enforced slower speed made the olive trees and the sheep take on an entirely different rhythm and a stronger sense of life.
    ‘I feel sad for my generation, which is empty of all human substance: which has known only bars, maths, Bugattis, as a form of spiritual life…One cannot live off fridges, politics, account balances, crosswords…If I come back alive, I shall only have one problem: what I can and must say to humanity.’”
    PostCatholic says:
    5 August 2012 at 10:43 am
    “Saint-Exupéry was a marvel at understanding the universality of religious need.”

    As Fr. Z might say “There it is.” Even some blog owners, especially this one, and commenters on blogs contribute to our spiritual sense! Thank you Fr. Thank you all. Thanks be to God. But- how do we put this into practice, so we don’t sin against faith, hope and charity?