May 1, 2009

Against the Aesthetes

I started to read Dom Chautard's The Soul of the Apostolate because of a quote from this post over on Historical Christian.

This afternoon I arrived at the quote given to me:

St. Paul summed up his apostolate as "preaching Christ crucified." Because he lived in Christ, and in Christ crucified, he was able to give souls a taste for the mystery of the Cross, and teach them to live it. Too many apostles in our own day no longer have enough interior life to fathom this life-giving mystery, to steep themselves through and through with it, until it shines forth from everything they do. They look at religion too much from the point of view of philosophy, sociology, or even of esthetics. They see in it only those elements which appeal to the mind and excite the sensibilites and imagination. They give free scope to their inclination to regard religion as a sublime school of poetry and incomparable art.

My emphasis. That last part sounds pretty good, right? But he is describing an error!

(pp. 142-143, in the TAN edition, 1974. ? trans.)

No comments: