Wednesday, July 22, 2015

{From My Commonplace}

I finished up Pilgrim's Inn a couple nights ago.  It was wonderful.  I can't resist juxtaposing here two moments in which Goudge expresses one of the themes of this book, once as the narrator and once as the indefatigable Lucilla,


"I know of no better incentive for the building of a decent world than the possession of children who must live in the world you've built."


"There were still children in the world, and while there were children, men and women would not abandon the struggle to make safe homes to put them in, and while they so struggled there was hope."

~~~

She's talking about adjusting to a post-WWII world, but I think we who feel like we're losing battle after battle in the culture war can relate to that threatening sense of despair.  And we who are parents can relate to the truth she expresses here, that our children do inspire us to be better people and to work toward a better world, even while (or especially while) the culture seems to be falling down around us.  I think of Charlotte Mason's thoughts on children and see that she feels much the same.

(As a side note, I read Anthony Esolen's "Reform and Renewal Starts With Us" this week and saw some comforting connections between it and Goudge's point.  And though this is quite presumptuous, I think we could add Have Children and Raise Them Right to Esolen's list of Christian challenges.  Because children are life-giving and hope-inspiring and a large part of what we're battling for--literally and figuratively--in the first place.)

14 comments:

  1. Wow. This really does sound like a magnificent book, Celeste. I have enjoyed the quotes you have shared.

    I read that Esolen piece earlier this week, too. Brilliant.

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    1. Pretty much everything he writes is gold, isn't it? :)

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  2. That does sound like a wonderful book, Celeste! I love when you make entries in your commonplace because you have such pretty handwriting :-) Thanks for the Esolen piece! I just adore everything he writes. Have you read his latest book yet? It is amazing and brilliant.

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann-Marie! I have not but am looking forward to doing so. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much--it makes me want to read it that much more!

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  3. Haven't read Esolen's piece, but I will. Sounds fantastic.

    The Lord always leaves a remnant who will continue faithfully despite the culture/adverse circumstances. May we be so blessed to continue in that remnant and see our children do so as well. May we see the remnant renew to Lord's way the cultural forces that are currently set against us.

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    1. Articles about "the Benedict Option" have been coming up in my feed lately, and I admit that I definitely relate to that. We are used to feeling a bit "fringe" since we attend the Latin Mass, but the situation with the culture at large takes our feelings of "fringe-ness" to a whole new level! Your words about the remnant are spot on.

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    2. I've seen that language, but not being RC haven't followed it ... Maybe I'll check it out ...

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    3. Oh, I do like rod dreher a lot, though. I assumed it was Pope Benedict, not St ...

      I come from a weird perspective, my sister converted to Amish-Mennonite a number of years ago. Because of this, I've observed withdrawal from society/culture as not all that helpful. Is there a middle ground to being in but not of the world?

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    4. I hope so, because I think that's what most of us are trying to do...and Esolen's piece is basically suggesting that. But I will say that, with the Benedict Option, it's a matter of priorities in some ways. Just from my own perspective of the Latin Mass--it's so important to me that it is preserved and it takes so much effort to make sure it's preserved in the midst of this secular world (and even in the midst of a Church in which it is not the standard form of worship), that when I prioritize my energy, time, and money, I have to put that goal ahead of engaging the culture (or even the Catholic culture at large). I think we see the same for homeschooling: we're not out there fighting to reform the public schools, not because we don't care at all but because we can't do that *and* protect our rights as homeschoolers as well as homeschool our children well. So some disengagement and focus on the task at hand to the exclusion of being "in the world" is necessary. Anyway, it's an interesting quandary and one that's going to become increasingly prescient, I think!

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    5. Crisis published what might be a kind of companion piece to Esolen's...I think what I'm talking about is really what he calls the Escriva Option (taking St. Josemaria Escriva as the model over St. Benedict). It's worth a read if you're interested in these sorts of things. :)

      http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/the-escriva-option

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  4. "There were still children in the world, and while there were children, men and women would not abandon the struggle to make safe homes to put them in, and while they so struggled there was hope."

    I love that part too.

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    1. Isn't it lovely? There is just something so restorative and inspiring about the innocence of children.

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