Pertinacious Papist: The best account of women and the priesthood I have ever seen
Monday, April 29, 2013
Jacques Maritain’s Service to Truth by Christopher Shannon
Without minimizing the importance of his writings, Maritain initially exerted his most powerful influence at a personal level through his Thomistic Study Circle, which he founded in 1914. Although placed under the spiritual direction of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., renowned as the leading guardian of Thomistic orthodoxy, the Circle nonetheless attracted a broad range of avante-garde, modernist intellectuals in various degrees of association with the Church. The appeal of the meetings was as much spiritual as intellectual, for Maritain intended his circle to pursue both sanctity and study. He understood the work of the Circle as in part making reparation for the sins against the intellect committed in the modern period. This aspect of the Thomistic revival was often lost on those who knew Maritain only through his writings, and continues to elude many. For Maritain, as for Thomas and the best of the Thomistic tradition, the truths of philosophy and theology were guides for a spiritual journey toward a deeper personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Bloy had directed Maritain toward the lives of the saints and the writings of Catholic mystics well before he began his study of St. Thomas. Maritain’s turn to scholastic rationality in no way entailed an abandonment of the more experiential and existential approaches that first drew him to the Church.