Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Entering the Second Quarter

Well I’m not really having a quarter-life crisis – it’s just something I heard a few years ago that I thought sounded really cool – and I of course wanted to say it when I turned 25. And if I die tomorrow I’ll be really P.O.ed that I would have had my official quarter-life crises when I was in first grade…

In any case, since I’ve been too busy to blog much (and won’t have much more time in the near future), I thought I’d start putting up quotes from people much smarter and wiser then myself.

The first quote is from my favorite living author, Dr. Peter Kreeft. In this passage, he explains an important teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas on knowing versus loving:

“St. Thomas says that it is better to know a stone than to love a stone but better to love God than to know God, because love conforms the lover to the beloved, while knowledge conforms the known object to the way-of-knowing of the knower (S.T. I, 82, 3). When we love a dog, we become more doggy, but when we know a dog, we raise it up to our own level: thought. When we know God, we drag him down to our anthropomorphic level, we make God more humanoid than he really is; but when we love God, we are raised up more closely to his level, we become more God-like than we were…”

The second quote is from the Pensees of Pascal. To me, this passage is a good description of Socrates as well as of Pascal. In case you’re wondering, the quote points out the mystery of the human person – and the philosopher’s mission to make sure each person knows there is something different about himself and all other humans. Rocks are always rocks, angels are always angels – but humans can be inhuman! And we do this through every sin! When we recognize this with humility, we become wise. Okay, so here’s the passage:

“If [man] exalts himself, I humble him
If he humbles himself, I exalt him
And I go on contradicting him
Until he understands
That he is a monster that passes all understanding”

And while I’m talking about Dr. Kreeft and Pascal, I’ll link them with two final quotes. The first is from Pascal and the second is from Kreeft in regards to the quote of Pascal:

“To make a man a saint, grace is certainly needed, and anyone who doubts this does not know what a saint, or a man, really is.”

“The world thinks men are good and saints are better. Pascal knows that men are sinners and saints are miracles.”

So as I enter the second quarter of the game, I certainly hope that I’m more than a quarter of the way to sanctity!

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