Catholicism: A Study of Dogma in Relation to the Corporate Destiny of Mankind

Catholicism: A Study of Dogma in Relation to the Corporate Destiny of Mankind

Catholicism: A Study of Dogma in Relation to the Corporate Destiny of Mankind

Catholicism: A Study of Dogma in Relation to the Corporate Destiny of Mankind

Excerpt

Have I found joy? ... No, but I have found my joy and that is something wildly different....

The joy of Jesus can be personal. It can belong to a single man and he is saved. He is at peace, he is joyful now and for always, but he is alone. The isolation of this joy does not trouble him; on the contrary: he is the chosen one. In his blessedness he passes through the battlefields with a rose in his hand....

When I am beset by affliction, I cannot find peace in the blandishments of genius. My joy will not be lasting unless it is the joy of all. I will not pass through the battlefields with a rose in my hand.

hat Christian has not encountered such an accusation? How many souls have not encountered upon their course this stone of stumbling? In the recent past "difficulties of belief" arose, it seems, in many cases from agnostic philosophy and doubts about the Bible and Christian origins. Exegesis and history have not ceased to be a source of difficulties, but the problems that beset us to-day are rather of the social and spiritual order, and it is possible that they are even more fundamental. The philosophical problem itself no longer appears as a matter of pure science. Thus, in general, there is less inquiry about the historical or rational developments by which Christianity has come down to us than about the nature of Christianity itself, and many who would not have dreamt of disputing its historical claims or criticizing its metaphysical foundations are beginning to be doubtful of its permanent value. "How," they ask in particular, "can a religion which apparently is uninterested in our terrestrial future and in human fellowship offer an ideal which can still attract the men of to-day?"

A few quotations will be sufficient to show how widespread is such an idea among our contemporaries. It is to be found developed at length in a work by Gabriel Séailles which was very popular forty years ago, and is still read. After stating what he called, with some emphasis, the affirmations of the modern conscience, he went on to sketch two contrasting portraits of . . .

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