Friday, August 28, 2009

Woodrow Wilson's Inner Voice

Ardua Tendit: "Damned logic and stubborn facts, the application of patterns of faith to the international policies of the Wilson administration"

When I read about Wilson, I'm very much reminded of the following observation:
"Let us not examine the second attitude [rationalism was the first]. This is a profoundly religious position, and as such, has a clear perception of the interminable distance between man and God — God, the different, the Other, the Mystery. This position recognizes the 'ultimate reason' as being much greater than man because the human mind cannot imagine its nature, the human nature cannot define it as the source of a possibility.
[...]
This attitude we are now studying is well disposed, therefore, to understand that if anything is possible for God, then the content of the message is also possible: God become presence, God made an experience in the here and now. But how can man become certain of this presence, the truth of this experience? Man is powerless to do this, since this presence is destined to remain a mystery. It is the spirit of God itself which enlightens the heart, and inspiring it, makes one 'feel' the truth of the person of Jesus. It is recognition by means of an inner experience."
(Giussani, Why the Church?, p17).

What's interesting to me is something that I understood from reading Rodney Howsare's excellent new book: Balthasar: a Guide for the Perplexed. It's the complete rejection of the analogy of things with God (being with Being) that leads to this position. Catholics even have a tendency toward this position insofar as the dissimilarity between the world and God is stressed as decisive. It's also this breach which fractures the relationship between faith and knowledge...
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