“Everything’s up to date in ancient Romaaaaa!”

From the Laudator:

Frederic De Forest Allen, quoted by J.B. Greenough in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 9 (1898) 31:

We call the Romans ancient, but when they were alive they thought themselves as modern as anybody.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike says:

    And there’s the rub: so often, their mistakes are our new ideas. I am working my way thru Augustine’s CITY OF GOD and I have been struck, time and again, how the errors he refutes sound as if they were raised yesterday–in my Religion Class!

  2. JonM says:

    A good number of the innovations in secular society and in the Church are recycled failures and old heresies (but lacking the elequence of those who erred early.)

    The font of troubles today is prosaic: ‘ME ME ME! It’s all about ME!’

    I read accounts of bishops who refuse customs of their positions such as beautiful clothing and elaborate ceremony. Now, I don’t mean to put down those who do this; generally the subjective intentions are to show piety and poverty, but in a warped manner.

    These bishops make the same mistake made by heretics who demand all sorts of positions in conflict with the Church: that is, it is all about the individual person in question.

    The high ceremony and riches that go with an office such as a bishopric are about the office and not the man lending himself to that office. Surely there is the temptation to abuse the office (as there is a chance to abuse any authority whether it is labor related, parental, or legal) but there is just as grave a threat that in watering down the sacred, the faithful lose sight of what is true.

    Some Protestant leaders have opinined that if Christ really is in the Eucharist, then we ought be on our knees beggind forgiveness for our sins, and receive only because Jesus told us to. Maybe a bit too Calvinistic (re: the false position of Total Depravity), but this mentality is generally correct.

    Of course Christ is completely in the Eucharist and we should behave like it by not chit chatting in Mass, making an altar becoming of the highest king and High Priest, and adopting an attitude of graditude rather than expectation.

    Bit of a rant there…

    Anyway, what is called ‘progressivism’ is really just a wild ripping apart of fundamental institutions that were given to us and revealed over time. The arch-secularist Arthur C. Clarke summed up well what modernism seeks to do in his book Childhood’s End. Indeed, he saw this nightmare as praiseworthy.

    At risk of paraphrasing a certain bishop who does not possess legal faculties, the answers to the modern age is found by looking to the past.

  3. MargaretC says:

    They ARE as modern as anybody. Read any of their historians…

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