Monday, March 10, 2008

beauty and truth: eternally one

Richard John Neuhaus reviews Austin Dacey's The Secular Conscience, a book I can safely assume I will not read until my children are grown and gone. But the review is quite readable, and stole my heart when Czeslaw Milosz made an appearance:

"The book opens with the splendid poem by Czeslaw Milosz “Incantations.”

Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
No sentence of banishment can prevail against it . . .
Beautiful and very young are Philo-Sophia
And poetry, her ally in the service of the good . . .
Their friendship will be glorious, their time has no limit,
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.

Of course, as Jeremy Driscoll explained in “The Witness of Czeslaw Milosz” in First Things, the poet’s confidence in the unity of reason and beauty was deeply grounded in his Christian faith. We should not be hesitant, however, indeed we should be eager, to acknowledge that non-Christians, too, participate in the wisdom to which Milosz bears witness. This is at the heart of what is meant by saying that all truth is one because the origin and sustaining dynamic of truth is one, with all things cohering in the logos—the word and reason who is Christ." ~ RJN

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