guitar greatness

Andy McKee on guitar:

other performances you must see:


Georgetown isn't all bad

Q: "What is the hardest thing to teach, in the sense of the receptivity of the students to it?"

Fr James Schall answers: "The Truth." And then he continues:
Yves Simon has a very insightful section in A General Theory of Authority that he titled "Freedom from the Self." In an age of self, and self-expression, this notion that our very selves can be obstacles to our own freedom comes as a shock. "Freedom from our very selves?" What can this mean? The whole idea of virtue is that we will only see ourselves if we choose a proper end and means to achieve it. The old monks used to speak of "conquering ourselves." They spoke of this inner war of ourselves against ourselves as the most difficult and perhaps dangerous enterprises of all. It is a Platonic idea, to be sure. All disorder of the world originates in disorder of soul. If we do not learn this truth, nothing else will much matter; we are bound to get it wrong, because we choose to see things wrongly.

Thus, if we do not know we have a soul, if we are just a bundle of emotions and drives, we will never be sufficiently free of ourselves to see what is not ourselves. No freedom is more precious than that of seeing clearly, delightedly what is not ourselves. We are, as it were, self-insufficient. And that, in a way, is the best thing about us. We look to others to know what we really are. We are not merely coupling and political animals, as Aristotle said, but, as he also said, beings who wonder about what it is all about. The beginnings of this wonderment are precious moments in our lives. It often happens through first loves, or through being struck by something we never saw before or even heard of. It can even happen in a university class.
Patrick Deneen, another professor from Georgetown comments:
"Above all, Fr. Schall instructs us, we must learn that we are "self-insufficient." In this remarkable and delightful phrase, Fr. Schall refutes one of the most pernicious and false beliefs of our time - that we are or ever can be "self-sufficient." Our frailty and insufficiency is at the heart of the most fundamental truth we must learn - a truth that much of modern life is arranged to obscure and permit us a kind of self-deception. Such understanding calls to mind the great reminder of Vaclav Havel, that "we are not God." Only with that understanding can we begin to govern ourselves - understanding our "selves" as not the whole of what we are - and begin to value something other than the feeding of the insatiable selves that are the most fundamental obstacles to a true form of freedom.

gods or God?

Via Mirror of Justice:

"The fact that self-sacrifice is regarded by less than half of all adults in this country as a positive moral virtue tells us far more about the current state of American religious belief than do all the polls indicating that more than 90 percent of the American public still believes in God. It tells us that the Trinitarian Godhead which is within itself a communion of self-giving love is no longer the God in whom the American public believes. It tells us that Christ, the source of the sacred or sacramental ordering of our lives, who becomes Head of the Church and source of that order by virtue of his sacrifice for the sake of the Church, no longer informs American religous sensibilities."

Does this have anything to do with the state of modern catechesis in the Catholic Church?