Archive for March, 2010

Here’s a quote…

It is clear that the Christian life is essentially supernatural.  It is the ignoring or denying of this element which is the cause of most of the ineffectiveness of present-day religion.  Supernatural religion is not popular, but that does not make it untrue.  Protestantism dislikes it, the Reformation was largely a movement for its dethronement; Modernism dislikes it–the pathetic desire to find a merely human Christ and the condemnation of sacramental action as “magic” attest as much; Science dislikes it because it appears to the scientist to introduce an incalculable and undemonstrable element in Nature; the Man in the Street dislikes it because it is beyond his comprehension, and it is a common weakness to fear and therefore hate the unknown; it remains for the Catholic uncompromisingly to nail his colours to the mast and live supernaturally, confident that on that level alone will he find fully Him for Whom his soul thirsts.

It may help towards clarity if we observe at this point that the supernatural is not the same thing as the miraculous.– The Elements of the Spiritual Life, F.P. Harton, S.P.C.K., London (?), 1932

Ok, then…what starts out as an excellent understanding of the Christian life lived as a response to God’s divine initiative in both general and specific revelation, gets bogged down into a squabble about what really happened in the Reformation.

I’m not certain it is fair to say that the Reformation sought to dethrone the primacy of God in action to save for Himself a people.  It is fair to say that the elevation of Reason over Revelation narrowed the field from infinite ways of God to the finite ways and understanding of human beings.

Is the weakness of the Church in the 21st Century due to a loss, through whatever means, of the supernatural element in the Christian life?


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