In preparing for tonight's First Friday Reading Circle gathering, I came across a passage in Liturgy and Personality that strikes me as especially von Hildebrandian--that seems almost to capture the essence of his sense of human life: its "metaphysical situation", its vocation, its fulness. It is a passage about reverence:
Reverence is the mother of all virtues, of all religion. It is the foundation and the beginning because it enables our spirit to possess real knowledge, and primarily the knowledge of values. It is that fundamental attitude toward being in which on gives all being the opportunity to unfold itself in its specific nature, in which on eneither behaves as its master, nor acts toward it in a spirit of familiar conviviality….In this right and appropriate attitude, this affirmation free from obtrusiveness, this silent, contemplative disposition toward being as being, the world begins to disclose itself in its entire depth, differentiation, and plenitude of value.
Note the importance of reverence not just to the moral and religious life, but also to the intellectual life. Reality "discloses" itself only when we approach it with the right disposition: one of reverence and receptivity, rather than arrogance and mastery. Those who only want to use the world, can never apprehend it rightly.
We will be recording Jules' introduction to chapters 5-6 and posting it in the member forum tomorrow.