Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “We, however, have a different goal”

Dover Beach

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“How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves – flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.

Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship…

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Ignatius Brianchaninov: “the defects and faults of one’s neighbor”

Dover Beach

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“It is worth noticing that, after acquiring spiritual understanding, the defects and faults of one’s neighbor begin to seem very slight and insignificant, as redeemed by the Savior and easily cured by repentance—those very faults and defects which seemed to the carnal understanding so big and serious. Evidently the carnal mind, being itself a plank, gives them this huge significance. The carnal mind sees in others sins that are not there at all.”

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

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Seraphim Rose: “The Revolution”

Dover Beach

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“A government must rule by the Grace of God or by the will of the people, it must believe in authority or in the Revolution; on these issues compromise is possible only in semblance, and only for a time. The Revolution, like the disbelief which has always accompanied it, cannot be stopped halfway; it is a force that, once awakened, will not rest until it ends in a totalitarian Kingdom of this world. The history of the last two centuries has proved nothing if not this. To appease the Revolution and offer it concessions, as Liberals have always done, thereby showing that they have no truth with which to oppose it, is perhaps to postpone, but not to prevent, the attainment of its end. And to oppose the radical Revolution with a Revolution of one’s own, whether it be “conservative,” ” non-violent,” or “spiritual,” is not merely to reveal ignorance…

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Nikolai Berdyaev: “this weary day of modern history”

Dover Beach

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“In reality the medieval civilization was a renaissance in opposition to the barbarism and darkness which had followed the fall of the civilization of antiquity, a chaos in which Christianity alone had been the light and the principle of order. For long it was believed that this complex and rich period had been a great void in the intellectual history of mankind and of its philosophical thought, when as a matter of fact these centuries had so many excellent thinkers and such diversity in the realm of their thought that noting like it can be found at any other epoch; the things which were substantial and living for them are counted as superfluous luxuries in modern times. A return to the middle ages is then a return to a better religious type, for we are far below their culture in the spiritual order; and we should hurry back to them…

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