On the writing of laws

‘Today’s proliferation of codes of ethics, while an expression of moral concern, is at the same time an expression of moral poverty. We write new rules and regulations because we lack shared customs and understandings. Yet the more we resort to such external and contrived codes, the less we can in fact take for granted.”

– Meilaender (Editor), ‘Working: Its Meaning and Its Limits’

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On the need for balance

‘The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered … it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.’

– G.K Chesterton, ‘The Suicide of Thought’

Stop talking start praying

Justin, in his Dialogue with Trypho, knew that it was by prayer and not intellectual argument that conversion would come. “But pray that, above all things, the gates of light may be opened to you; for these things cannot be perceived or understood by all, but only by the man to whom God and His Christ have imparted wisdom.”[1]

So too Ignatius of Antioch, at the beginning of the second century, attested to the role of prayer in evangelism in his letter to the Ephesians. “Pray without ceasing on behalf of other men. For then there is hope of repentance that they may attain to God.” [2]

[1] Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, 7.

[2] Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians, 10.

(I can’t remember where I sourced this, it was a few years back now. I’ll have to think about it some more…)

Order or chaos? A perspective on the unborn

“If you were in charge of a nature preserve and you noticed that the pregnant female mammals were trying to miscarry their pregnancies, eating poisonous plants or injuring themselves, what would you do? Would you think of it as a battle between the pregnant female and her unborn and find ways to help those pregnant animals miscarry? No, of course not. You would immediately think, “Something must be really wrong in this environment.” Something is creating intolerable stress, so much so that animals would rather destroy their own offspring than bring them into the world. You would strive to identify and correct whatever factors were causing this stress in the animals.”

-Frederica Matthewes-Green, ‘When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense’

 

 

On the breadth of motherhood

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

– G.K Chesterton ‘What’s Wrong with the World’