Wisdom on Wednesdays—The mark of God’s love

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Gertrude, pastel on paper, c. 1918, 20 x 15 in.

“Man is only happy in cooperating with his individual destiny.  All men are destined to perfect virtue.
Some men are destined to achieve virtue before death.
Some are destined to achieve it after death.
It is a special mark of providence to have the opportunity of complete humility before death.  The longer before death it is—the greater the mark of God’s love.”

(October 19, 1929)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The triumph of comfort

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A Christening Party at Chartres, oil on canvas, 1928, 45 x 54 in.
Inspired by Schmitt’s stay in Chartres 1926-27, this painting was first exhibited at the twenty-seventh Carnegie International exhibition, October—December 1928.  A reviewer called it a “golden gaiety,” “one of those pictures which make you long to be in the place depicted.”

“The breakdown here in America is not due to a negative evil like sin, but to avoidance alike of all negative and positive things like the virtues and vices in the hope that, by postponing both heaven and hell long enough, a Utopia of science may be discovered.  It is thought that if the good can be held off long enough, comfort will triumph.”
—from the essay “Room (with Bath) at the Inn” (October 5, 1941)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The magnificent virtue of Rome

“We hear often enough of the pagan vices (Rome always seems to have fallen) but it is time to recognize the important place which history gives to the pagan virtues.

“The era of Augustus with its grandeur and peace could never have occurred without magnificent virtue, and it is only on such magnificent natural virtue that the supernatural virtues of Christianity can be placed, if they are to survive (short of miracle).
For the supernatural religion cannot exist by itself; it cannot float in mid-air.  It must be superimposed upon a foundation of balanced and vigorous natural religion.”  (1943)

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Lady Chapel, Paulist Church (New York City), etching, 1915 (printed 1921), 8 x 6¼ in.

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Destiny and death

“Man is only happy in cooperating with his individual destiny. All men are destined to perfect virtue.
Some men are destined to achieve virtue before death.
Some are destined to achieve it after death.
It is a special mark of providence to have the opportunity of complete humility before death. The longer before death it is—the greater the mark of God’s love.”
(October 19, 1929)

CSF21100

Gertrude, pastel on paper, c. 1918, 20 x 15 in.