Turning back to the past

Red leaves spinning down from the pin oaks lining the streets. Rust on the pelargonium,  the lavender’s subdued grey. If you stand in a sheltered spot in the sun, it is very hot but the  wind cuts through sweaters and rainjackets like ice.

Reflecting on the noise of social media, flattering, irrelevant, mildly amusing, a distraction. Noise — and turning to Marilynne Robinson. Picking up Guardini, Dom Chapman, looking further back for what is on the other side of  noise, what is still able to  convey meaning.



“Something I find regrettable in contemporary Christianity is the degree to which it has abandoned its own heritage, in thought and art and literature. It was at the center of learning in the West for centuries—because it deserved to be. Now there seems to be actual hostility on the part of many Christians to what, historically, was called Christian thought, as if the whole point were to get a few things right and then stand pat. I believe very strongly that this world, these billions of companions on earth that we know are God’s images, are to be loved, not only in their sins, but especially in all that is wonderful about them. And as God is God of the living, that means we ought to be open to the wonderful in all generations. These are my reasons for writing about Christian figures of the past. At present there is much praying on street corners. There are many loud declarations of personal piety, which my reading of the Gospels forbids me to take at face value. The media are drawn by noise, so it is difficult to get a sense of the actual state of things in American religious culture.”

Marilynne Robinson


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