Wisdom on Wednesdays—Alone and a fool

St. Francis, etching, January 1926

“Christ was something more than an English gentleman.  The best people voted for his death.  He died alone and a fool.  No English gentleman fears death if it is done by the best people and gregariously.  What he really fears is making a fool of himself like St. Francis, and doing it alone.”  (1931)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—The only power in the world

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Noli me tangere (Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection), 1920, woodblock print, 8¾ x 5 in.

“The only power in the world—the basic creative force—is Charity: the transcendent existence of the Father made immanent and available to man through Christ, in his birth as man, and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit.”  (1964)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Poets, pagans, and magicians

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Nativity, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in.

“Those who believe in magic, the poets and the pagans, should be tenderly handled by the theologian.  The magician, as with the shepherd, is the first worshiper of Christ, and Christ without magic is unthinkable: the burning bush, the speaking stones, the possessed pigs, the fermented water, and so on, culminating in the bread which is the flesh of God and the bleeding grape from the vine of the murdered Christ.”   —from the essay “Miracles”  (1943)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The desire of the wildest imagination

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Annunciation, 1921, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in.

“Today we are prone to forget that Christ combines the Aesthetic, the Expedient, and the Religious Life.  We forget that He came not only because man needed hope for eternal beatitude but that he was also the historic concrete answer to the desire of the wildest imagination: the appearance on earth of a God-man.  History united to myth.”  (1960)