On the Lower Slopes of Worship

We are all beginners in the liturgy, really. All of us—from the first-time visitor who finds himself pain helplessly through the Prayer Book wondering what is happening, to the aged priest who has known it all by heart for half a century—are only on the lower slopes of worship. If the great seraphim themselves cover their faces in the presence of the Divine Majesty, who of us will claim to be experts at the act of approaching the Throne with offerings of adoration and praise.

From The Liturgy Explained. (The old edition)

‘Man is what he eats.’ With this statement the German materialist philosopher Feuerbach thought he had put an end to all ‘idealistic’ speculations about human nature. In fact, however, he was expressing, without knowing it, the most religious idea of man.

For the Life of the World, Alexander Schmemann. The opening sentences of a book I will never tire of rereading.

But a new major era seems to be just beginning in the shadow of the old and dying modernism. I have a name for it, for what it’s worth. I call it trans-modernism. We’re moving into a new historical period in which we will rediscover the validity of a lot of our traditional understanding, but we’re going to discover it intellectually.

Almost an aside in Paul Vitz’ Socrates in the City talk on Fatherhood. But an intriguing one nonetheless.

Since the beginning of recorded history, empires and civilizations have risen and fallen; sometimes they would seem to have completely disappeared. It would probably be truer to say that the races who have developed the varying civilizations have disappeared, but that their gifts to the world have survived, not always in the form in which they gave them, but in the form in which the world has needed them.

Dorothy Mills, on the fall of Rome in the introduction to her Book of the Middle Ages.

An observation after having run every day for 297 days in a row:

The first mile is almost always the worst/hardest mile of any run.

That’s why he and two co-authors—Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford—recently performed a study that suggests it might be time to change the way we think about our interests. Passions aren’t “found,” they argue. They’re developed.

From a much appreciated article by Olga Khazan—especially for those of us in the world of K-12 Classical Education.

Working title for a writing project I am chipping away at these days:

Presence in a Virtual Age: a sacramental theology you didn’t know you needed

I have to imagine that those who work towards developing or are in any way excited about the Metaverse have only ever watched the first five minutes of a Black Mirror episode.