Wisdom on Wednesdays—Lodgings in the stable

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Nativity, woodblock print, c. 1920.

“Peace may only be made when each Catholic withdraws from the class-struggle and finds what lodgings he can in the stable.  He must see the world from without, among peasants and kings.”  (May 22, 1932)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—Beauty instead of money

“I have always been bewildered and frightened before the world.  I could never understand that nothing was wanted of me by the world but money—or why it was that I must ask nothing of the world but money.  I soon found, however, that if I did not submit I would be crushed.  I tried beauty instead of money and I was threatened with starvation.  I tried raising a decent-sized family, and I was starved.  I have temporarily escaped with nothing left but many of my paintings, my family and pride – the latter vice created in me, as it were, by those who would starve me.”  (written shortly after Schmitt’s return to America from Europe in late 1939)

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Self-Portrait, oil on hardboard, 12 x 10 in.

Wisdom on Wednesdays—What goes on in our hearts

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Portrait of Margaret Ryan, September 1931, pastel on paper, 18 x 15 in.

“Viewed fundamentally, the advance of atheistic communism has little to do with the cold war or with Khrushchev.  It has mostly to do with what goes on in our hearts.

“As long as our principal or only reality consists in expediency we are doomed to slavery.  It does not matter how much we go to church or how many concerts we go to or how many pictures we buy; as long as we regard economic expediency as the most important thing in life, we will be buried.”  (1960)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Now is the nadir of the world

“Now is the nadir of the world:
To be poor in spirit, but not too poor
To be chaste, but not too chaste
To be honest, but not too honest.
Thus Christianity is an enemy:
‘Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect’
is the counsel of fanaticism.
The politician must compromise in a ‘possible world.’”
(1964)

Coronation of the Virgin, oil on canvas, c. 1924, 42 x 35 in.