Thursday, April 19, 2012

2 from 30 Days

What we need most of all is prayer
Witness of Cardinal Roger Etchegaray
by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray

It is prayer that is the keystone of the Christian life
“We need much humility, we need to recite the Rosary and the simplest prayers, like those of popular devotion; one understands there that it is very often the people who hand on the faith to the learned”.
An Interview with Prosper Grech, the Augustinian created cardinal by Benedict XVI in the recent Consistory


James Chastek: Don’t always distinguish

In the (corrupted?) Scholastic tradition, “distinguish” has become a fraternity password or cheerleader-slogan. All problems and paradoxes are seen as mechanically calling forth the need to “distinguish!” The irony is that what is most loveable in the great Scholastics is not their distinctions but their syntheses and unifications. Distinction itself is purely ad hoc, arbitrary and hateful unless it can reduce to some evident principle that allows for the distinction itself.
As a beginner, I'm not understanding the critique so much. Distinguishing may be a necessary step to clarity when definitions have not been stated and one does not to presume that an interlocutor or opponent is using a specific one. It seems necessary when the discussion is taking place through the written word rather than through speech; it is useful too for preserving a measure of humility and politeness in discourse.