Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Forces of destruction at work"

Henri Daniel-Rops

At a book sale held recently at a nearby Catholic high school, I was able to pick up a King James Bible, as well as several classic Catholic texts by such authors as Jean Danielou, SJ and Henri Daniel-Rops, all for roughly the price of a venti latte, to use the annoying Starbucks argot.   I also purchased,  purely for amusement and at no additional charge, a book by the proto-heretic (to use Justin Martyr's term) Gregory Baum.  This text will be sifted for absurdity, and you may be sure that its most appalling clods of obtuse fractiousness will be displayed in due time upon this blog.

Meanwhile, from "The Church of Apostles and Martyrs, Vol II," here is Henri Daniel-Rops' description of third century Rome, which bears, it seems to me, more than a passing resemblance to our own times:

"[F]orces of destruction were at work in every sphere of activity, not merely the political one, and these became more and more effective as time went by.  Art, morality, literature and social life no longer presented the characteristics of vitality and equilibrium which they had possessed during Rome's greatest epochs.   For Rome the history of the third century was one of a decadence from which the ancient Latin vigour could still jolt her back to sanity and momentary revival, but which nevertheless dragged irresistibly onward to its inevitable end."

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