Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Education

"THE education of a child belongs properly to the parent, and not to the State. The family is prior to the State in right, and this is particularly true of rights over children."

~Hilaire Belloc: Essays of a Catholic

Artwork: Education, 
by Ferdinand Wagner Sr. 
A.D. 1819 – 1881, German

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Persecution

"BUT IF I be asked what sign we may look for to show that the advance of the Faith is at hand, I would answer by a word the modern world has forgotten: Persecution. When that shall be at work it will be morning."

~Hilaire Belloc: Survivals and New Arrivals

Printing

"PRINTING diffused true knowledge, but it also diffused (and on a far greater scale) false knowledge and unproved irrational affirmation." 

~Hilaire Belloc: The Crisis of Our Civilization

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Nature of the Reformation

"The break-up of united Western Christendom with the coming of the Reformation was by far the most important thing in history since the foundation of the Catholic Church fifteen hundred years before.

"Men of foresight perceived at the time that if catastrophe were allowed to consumate itself, if the revolt were to be successful (and it was successful), our civilization would certainly be imperilled,  and possibly, in the long run, destroyed.

"That indeed is what has happened. Europe with all its culture is now seriously imperilled and stands no small chance of being destroyed by its own internal disruption; and all this is ultimately the fruit of the great religious revolution which began four hundred years ago.

"That being so, the Reformation being of this importance, it ought to form the chief object of historical study in modern times, and its nature should be clearly understood, even if only in outline."

~Hilaire Belloc: Characters of the Reformation, Chap 1. (1936)

Diptych with the Portraits of Luther and his Wife, by CRANACH, Lucas the Elder. Oil on wood; Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.

Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon, by CRANACH, Lucas the Younger. Oil and tempera on wood, transferred to canvas,1559; St├Ądelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.

The Calvinist Iconoclastic Riot of August 20, 1566, by HOGENBERG, Frans. Copper engraving, 1588; British Museum, London.

Portrait of John Calvin (1509–1564). Oil on panel, c. 1550. (Anonymous)

SAINT THOMAS MORE

"...Saint Thomas More is badly misunderstood; and through misunderstanding him we misunderstand the nature of the English Reformation itself as well as the peculiar and individual greatness of this individual martyr. . .

"He was, I repeat, utterly alone. He had no support from without.

"And what support had he from within? That terrible question we cannot answer with certitude, but we can, I think, with probability. His was not only a skeptical mind, as has been the mind of more than one who has nonetheless suffered death for truth held by faith and not by experience: it was also a mind which had long practice of seeing both sides of any question and thinking anything can be argued; on that particular point of the Papacy he had himself argued sincerely enough on the wrong side. I suggest that the Martyr in his last moments had all the intellectual frailty of the intellectuals, and that at the end his skepticism was still working; but his glorious resolution stood─and that is the kernel of the affair. He had what is called "Heroic Faith"."

~Hilaire Belloc: Characters of the Reformation, Chap. 6.

@ Amazon

Friday, June 21, 2019

"The mountains from their heights"

"And this is a peculiar thing I have noticed in all mountains, and have never been able to understand─ namely, that if you draw a plan or section to scale, your mountain does not seem a very important thing. One should not, in theory, be able to dominate from its height, nor to feel the world small below one, nor to hold a whole countryside in one's hand─yet one does. The mountains from their heights reveal to us two truths. They suddenly make us feel our insignificance, and at the same time they free the immortal Mind, and let it feel its greatness, and they release it from the earth."

~Hilaire Belloc: The Path to Rome

Godolphin Horne

Godolphin Horne, Who was Cursed with
the Sin of Pride, and Became a Boot-Black

Godolphin Horne was Nobly Born;   
He held the Human Race in Scorn,   
And lived with all his Sisters where   
His Father lived, in Berkeley Square.   
And oh! the Lad was Deathly Proud!   
He never shook your Hand or Bowed,   
But merely smirked and nodded thus:   
How perfectly ridiculous!
Alas! That such Affected Tricks   
Should flourish in a Child of Six!
(For such was Young Godolphin's age).   
Just then, the Court required a Page,   
Whereat the Lord High Chamberlain   
(The Kindest and the Best of Men),   
He went good-naturedly and took   
A Perfectly Enormous Book
Called People Qualified to Be
Attendant on His Majesty,
And murmured, as he scanned the list   
(To see that no one should be missed),   
'There's William Coutts has got the Flu,   
And Billy Higgs would never do,   
And Guy de Vere is far too young,
And. . . wasn't D'Alton's Father hung?   
And as for Alexander Byng!—. . .   
I think I know the kind of thing,   
A Churchman, cleanly, nobly born,   
Come let us say Godolphin Horne?'   
But hardly had he said the word   
When Murmurs of Dissent were heard.   
The King of Iceland's Eldest Son
Said, 'Thank you! I am taking none!'   
The Aged Duchess of Athlone   
Remarked, in her sub-acid tone,   
'I doubt if He is what we need!'   
With which the Bishops all agreed;   
And even Lady Mary Flood
(So Kind, and oh! so really good)   
Said, 'No! He wouldn't do at all,   
He'd make us feel a lot too small.'
The Chamberlain said, ' . . . Well, well, well!   
No doubt you're right . . . One cannot tell!'
He took his Gold and Diamond Pen   
And Scratched Godolphin out again.   
So now Godolphin is the Boy   
Who blacks the Boots at the Savoy.

~Hilaire Belloc



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