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Katie van Schaijik

Contra Fr. Barron on modern philosophy

Sep. 22, 2012, at 1:42pm

I've been preoccupied for the last couple of days with a lively discussion over at Ricochet about a talk by Fr. Barron that a member there linked.  I clicked and listened, expecting to like it.  I don't know very much about Fr. Barron, but practically everyone I know admires him, so I was ready to too.  I'd seen a few of his You Tube clips, which I found mostly sound and engaging, if not particularly deep.  He's plainly a thoughtful, sincere, orthodox Catholic priest with a gift for apologetics and a sympathetic openness to contemporary culture—which is ideal for the New Evangelization.  I was happy when I heard he'd been named Rector of Mundelein Seminary in Chicago.

But I thought this

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Jules van Schaijik

The modernity of Newman

Oct. 4, 2010, at 1:30pm

In a recent talk I gave on his life and thought, I tried to explain that John Henry Newman is an especially important saint for our times, in large part because of the modernity of his faith. He lived in a culture that, in spite of some obvious differences, is nevertheless very close to our own. But he did not just live in this culture, he was also a part of it. His inner life and thought was shaped by it, and so, therefore, was his faith. Newman, in other words, shows us what holiness looks like in today’s world.

In a recent interview Pope Benedict XVI expresses the same point better than I did. Asked about the significance of Newman, he answered (in part)

Newman is, above all, a

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Jules van Schaijik

Criticizing modernity

Dec. 3, 2009, at 10:41pm

A couple of days ago, I picked up Henri de Lubac’s Paradoxes—one of those books, like Pascal’s Pensees, perfect for lulls in the day that are too short to be useful but too long to be wasted—and came across these two passages:

If you do not live, think, and suffer with the men of your time, as one of them, in vain will you pretend, when the moment comes to speak to them, to adapt your language to their ear.

“Know the moderns in order to answer their difficulties and their expectations.” A touching intention. But this way of projecting the “moderns” into an objective concept, of separating oneself from them to consider them from the outside, makes this good will useless.

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