Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Who Defines the Discourse?

Who Defines the Discourse? We don't realize how this question is such a powerful Girardian reflection. The 'who' is either the True Transcendent One or the 'who' is entangled in the mimetic desire of fallen humanity.

You begin the day with prayer - we begin with Mass, with Holy Communion. Only after we have received Him as Bread of Life ... He gives us the strength, and the courage and the joy and the love to touch him and to love him and to serve him... without Him we could not do it, but with Him we can do all things. - Mother Teresa


Athos said...

Chesterton once said, "As for the fundamental reasons for a man (joining the Catholic Church), there are only two that are really fundamental. One is that he believes it to be the solid objective truth, which is true whether he likes it or not; and the other that he seeks liberation from his sins. If there be any man for whom these are not the main motives, it is idle to inquire what were his philosophical or historical or emotional reasons for joining the old religion; for he has not joined it at all."

This is to say that if Catholic truth is not THE truth, and if there IS no "objective truth," then one may as well live any old way one wants to or feels like living. Indeed, the best philosophy may be that nihilistic one, "Live fast, die young, have a good looking corpse."

But, as you show, Aramis, with Girard's quotations, even a scholarly mind bows with no shame to the truth of the Church.

The Three Mass'tekeers gladly lay our swords before Her as well!

David Nybakke said...

Dear Athos, Is Chesterton saying that if man joined the Catholic Church for any other reason than these 2 s/he has not joined it at all? Mighty powerful. I lean very strongly in this way as well.

A little confessing here - I was so immersed in sin (and it still is amazing how easy it is to slip right back into sin) I could not have seen THE Truth even if I wanted to until I was brought to my knees - there was no place else to go. It was not an intellectual decision AT ALL. And while emptying a box of Kleenex tissues sobbing I asked for forgiveness in the back of the church during a Cursillo weekend.

Truth didn't seem to have anything to do with it back then for having what seemed like the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders - from my heart - that was proof enough that my search had ended, there in the church.

Going back to GK's remark, just how many of us 'convert' Catholics would fall into one of those two reasons for joining the Church? And what does he say about 'cradle' Catholics and (maybe) the reason for staying in the Church - truth or liberation of sins OR can you say something like he says for converts, they are not ... Catholic???? He can't say that can he?

Athos said...

I fell into BOTH categories...no, let me put it differently. Only the Church through Christ's sacramental power of grace could bring me to a state of grace in which I (the converted and substantiated self now in-relation to God through Christ) could overcome through that same grace the temptations that before I could not on my own.

So, the sin/forgiveness factor was absolutely operative for me.

Secondly, the "objective truth" aspect: this is what I mean when I say "epistemological certitude." If there isn't any, anything goes! But, then, there goes the "sin/forgiveness" aspect if that is the case. So the two are inextricably intertwined.

We Girardian types would add the anthropological truths contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, explicated with pathological and forensic skill by Girard, Bailie, et al.

David Nybakke said...

Dear Athos, Your comment is right on and eloquently written. We are touching on the very tectonic plates of what it means to be made in the image and likeness...

It is like the revelation of the Gospel deconstructing our cultural and religious founding violence as it reveals how to live in light of this deconstruction.

We all get caught up (and rightly so most of the time) in bringing to light nearly every article that is critical of Islam and/or the political correctness humanism today yet we need to make sure that we keep in step with re-presenting the Way, the Truth, and the Light. We must not forget our call to holiness, which is a turning away from scandal and double binds. It is not only to live with Christ in our hearts, but to love our neighbor as ourselves, it is re-presenting Christ to others.

Today, this re-presenting Christ is what is left behind in all of our media and it seems to me that what we can attmept to do on our blog is to keep pace with the Gospel as it deconstructs our violence.

David Nybakke said...

Katerina Ivanovna's interesting post Mediocre Catholics and Poor Formation of Conscience at Vox Nova. Could one of the reasons for the shrinking of Christianization (as Gil references) be the vast amount of mediocre Catholics raised with poor formation over the last few generations? Turning it around is not easy, however it sounds like we have hope with the likes of the Cheyenne, WY diocese.