On how to gain Wisdom

The Wisdom of Solomon addresses the notion of Wisdom, in many ways anticipating the eventual Christian doctrine of the λόγος which is with God and is God, from the beginning (cf. John 1:1-2). This Wisdom is present in all of creation, guiding it and bringing it to its proper place, but also in the spirit of the righteous man. Wisdom, we might say, is simultaneously ontological and ethical, outside of mankind as a part of the world as well as inside of him as the understanding of the natural order. Continue reading

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Posted in metaphysics, natural theology

Nu disprețui începuturile slabe

M-am născut în America, unde am și crescut și fost educat. Abia de câțiva ani sunt hotărât să învăț să vorbesc limba părinților mei cu o oarecare elocvență și corectitudine gramaticală, ceea ce se găsește foarte rar la copiii emigranților. Mai mult, sunt interesat de a mă perfecționa ca scriitor în limba română. În sensul acesta — cu mențiunea că nu am de unde să fi citit atât de mult cât un român din România — rămân mereu impresionat de Andrei Pleșu ca scriitor.  Continue reading

Posted in aesthetics | Tagged ,

Beatitude is a gift

St. Catherine of Siena said that human beings can't live without love, that they are sustained by love because love is the substance of their being, the "stuff" from which they were made. St. Augustine, too, in Confessions II, II.2 says that the wild days of his youth were really a search for reciprocated love. Continue reading

Posted in ethics

Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius

thomas and christ

One of the lines of St. Thomas Aquinas's wonderful hymn "Adoro Te Devote" is this:

Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius,
Nil hoc verbo Veritatis verius
.

I believe whatever the Son of God has spoken,
And nothing is truer than this word of Truth.

This is the essence of the intellectual aspect of the Christian faith, I think — to believe whatever the Son of God has said, and to consider His words to be truer than other sort of words. Continue reading

Posted in theology

On the providential significance of individuality

(A Romanian version of this article is anticipated to appear soon in a separate publication.)

God created the human person in such a way that her existence is characterized by a universal-particular dynamic. All humans, insofar as they are human, share certain traits specific to humanity, in addition to animality and life in which other creatures on earth also have a share. We might also note those common loves on which lasting friendships are built. Noticing these points in common inspires solidarity and love among persons. On the other hand, throughout the course of a lifetime a person comes to discover her own individuality and particularity, especially when interacting with others, and the differences which appear among persons may sometimes give birth to antagonism and conflict, even hatred and war. Therefore we might pose the question: why did God create us as individuals? Without pretending to treat the matter exhaustively, I propose to relate a bit of the opinions of three Christian thinkers on this subject.  Continue reading

Posted in theology

Dreptatea nu se moștenește

king josiah icon 1Iosia merită să fie pomenit în numărul marilor reformatori religioși din istoria poporului lui Dumnezeu. În 2 Reg 23 găsim o relatare lungă și detaliată a reformelor impuse de către acest împărat, asemenea căruia „n-a mai fost rege înainte de el, care să se fi întors la Domnul cu toată inima sa, cu toate puterile sale şi cu tot sufletul său, după toată legea lui Moise, dar nici după el nu s-a mai ridicat altul asemenea lui” (v. 25).

Însă observăm cu tristețe că, în ciuda exemplului lăsat de tatăl lor Iosia, fiii acestuia pesemne n-au învățat să se închine Domnului și să întoarcă la El cu toată inima. Atât Ioahaz, cât și Ioiachim au făcut „rele înaintea Domnului, cum făcuseră și părinții lui” (v. 32, 36). Ce învățătură putem trage din această istorisire dezamăgitoare?  Continue reading

Posted in biblical commentary

On the relevance of the Bible

ancient bible 1I remember once going to a hang-out of sorts for persons interested in matters of religion and philosophy. It was one of those meetings where persons with similar interests get together and ask questions, talk about important matters, and share their opinions on whatever subjects are raised in the course of the discussion. This particular meeting had the Christian Bible as its topic and one of the persons present, himself not a Christian from what I could gather, asked the question of the relevance of the Bible: Why should anyone care about the Bible, given the fact that it was written so long ago? Continue reading

Posted in theology