Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 1/22/08

Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals. On the evolutionary basis you may be inhumane, or you may be absurdly humane; but you cannot be human. That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being as cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you; it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably -- that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws. If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden.
-- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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The same honor, the same latreutic worship that is paid to the divinity is paid to the humanity as well, inasmuch as it subsists in the divinity. And therefore God cannot confer a greater dignity upon a human being than to give it a share in the veneration due to himself. As Saint John Damascene explains how latreutic worship can be paid to a creature: "As a lighted piece of charcoal is not simply wood but wood united to fire, so the flesh of Christ is not mere flesh but flesh united to the Godhead." In that passage he speaks therefore of the flesh of Christ as divinized; because of this divinization there is a sharing in the honor and veneration due to God.

The eternal Word willed to stoop to such great poverty, in order that he might enrich us abundantly with heavenly gifts. Should one reflect on the manner in which he enriched us, one would find it wonderful indeed, since he enriched us by his poverty and endowed us out of his indigence.
-- Henry of Friemar, O.S.A., Tractatus de Incarnatione Verbi, Pars 1, Prin. 3.

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