Saturday, February 16, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/16/08

Our fathers had a plain sort of pity: if you will, a gross and coarse pity. They had their own sort of sentimentalism. They were quite willing to weep over Smike. But it certainly never occurred to them to weep over Squeers. No doubt they were often narrow and often visionary. No doubt they often looked at a political formula when they should have looked at an elemental fact. No doubt they were pedantic in some of their principles and clumsy in some of their solutions. No doubt, in short, they were all very wrong, and no doubt we are the people and wisdom shall die with us. But when they saw something that in their eyes, such as they were, really violated their morality, such as it was, then they did not cry "Investigate!" They did not cry "Educate!" They did not cry "Improve!" They did not cry "Evolve!" Like Nicholas Nickleby, they cried "Stop!" And it did stop.
-- G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to "Nicholas Nickleby"
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While Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd because of the many miracles he performed and because of his gentle doctrine, he, the lover of solitude, again withdrew to a secluded place where, after being useful to his neighbor, he could freely return to prayer and contemplation.

It is a good, indeed necessary, thing for people who are much embattled to take refuge from the fray within themselves, to cultivate themselves, and in their innermost, care-filled hearts to fix their gaze on the divine realities and ask God for what is essential for the guidance and progress of all people. In this way they help with silent prayer those whom they have instructed in the faith, to give them the power to understand, so that the word of God may not fall on the empty air.
-- Simon Fidati of Cascia, O.S.A., De gestis Domini Salvatoris IV, 7

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