Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The More Materialistic Science Becomes, the More Angels I Shall Paint

I came across that quotation from Edward Burne Jones while watching The Victorians, a documentary series by Jeremy Paxman. It's haunted me ever since.

I'm a Catholic because I believe Catholicism is true-- objectively, universally, timelessly true. Catholicism should not be a fad, a pose, a form of self-expression, or a mere rebellion against modernity, or against anything else. It is as relevant to 2013 as it was to the reign of Charlemagne. Pope Benedict was right to encourage believers to use social media to spread the gospel, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is an entirely noble expression of the belief that faith and reason are the two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.

And yet-- and yet-- I have to admit that I have a very strong personal inclination towards this reactionary attitude. Something inside me would happily grow a long beard, wear sandals and a robe, and pointedly refuse to know anything about current affairs, new technology, pop culture or politics. I would take enormous relish in presenting myself as a survivor from the Middle Ages, in striving to be as otherworldy and out of touch and doggedly archaic as possible.

It would be hard to hold down a job if you behaved like that, though. Or to have a sociable drink in the pub.

(Wedding plans proceeding apace, thanks.)

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