Friday, June 01, 2007
From an old Gilbert
I was cleaning off some shelves and paged through an old Gilbert where I found an article about a Recently deceased Jesuit priest, Fr. Walter Ong, SJ. His specialty was communication studies and technology. He was without peer in this area of observing and drawing conclusions regarding the ways that societies and individuals pass on knowledge.
Reading this article again helped clarify a couple things Ive had on my mind lately. Ive been thinking how as Catholics, we believe that the action of the Holy Spirit is seen in development of doctrine and in the life of the Church. Belloc makes note in The Great Heresies that heresies seem to have a lifespan of 400 years and then their fire goes out, the true doctrine and the True Faith outlive the challenge. This is more or less correct. Even in the 1st Century, the Church's mind was ancient, rooted in the Old Testament and the promise made to Adam in Genesis 3:15.
This is an area where we live surrounded by temptation. Im writing these words, and deleting and rewriting most of them on a very impermanent medium. It took me a moment in Google image search to find the pic above. These things are both not evil in themselves, and actually are a good if kept in the proper place. However, we are conditioned to instantaneous results, and immediate access to information. In order to learn something, it used to be necessary for that something to become part of you, burned into your brain and soul. Benedict XVI speaks of Christ as Logos , and viewing knowledge as the product of discipline necessarily implies reverence. Allowing ourselves to be remade in the image of e-culture and superficial facts as opposed to wisdom is against the example of the Fathers, and begins to turn us away from thinking with the mind of God, Ancient of Days Yet Ever New. This is why I cringe when I hear people talk about "renewal"