sábado, 22 de julho de 2017

Fr Seraphim Rose on Thomism

Thomist philosophy and Catholic realism in general, inspires us [i.e. , Orthodox Christians—ed.] with a certain uneasiness. Why? In a word, because it is too much concerned with the things of this world. It overestimates the worth of the 'natural' in underestimating the corruption of the natural order and of the human intellect, by the Fall; the 'natural' we know is no longer fully natural. But more essential than this, it aspires to a knowledge and 'wisdom' that are 'heavy' with all the weight of the 'world,' that act as though—for all practical purposes—the world is eternal. The time of the Kingdom has come: in the light of this truth, which is central to Christianity, all the worldly preoccupations of Catholic realism seem almost a mockery. Does not this 'realism' say: Let man fulfill his 'natural' self, let him seek worldly knowledge and happiness and temporal improvement, and then look to the knowledge and happiness that lie above these, proceeding from what is humbler and more accessible to what is nobler and more hidden. But if the time of the Kingdom has come, is it not too late to be pursuing these worldly aims? And is it not inevitable that many who begin with the humble will never leave it? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. The imperative to Christians seems all too obvious: put away all worldly things, and seek the Kingdom. The Kingdom has been 'delayed'; do we then return to our original path, that worldly wisdom to which Christ's message is folly? Alas, with 'Christian philosophy,' and how much more so with modern 'science,' we do just that. Christ is our wisdom, not the world; and in the end these two cannot be reconciled. A 'natural wisdom' subordinated to Christian Truth; a 'natural science' devoted to Christian uses (horror of horrors!)—these, in a 'normal' time, might be legitimate. But the fact that Christ has come marks our time as an extraordinary time, a time in which 'normal' concerns, wisdom and worldly knowledge, must be put aside, and we too must be crucified and made a scandal and folly to the world. Christianity stands opposed to the world. True, there is too the 'world' that is to be saved—but not by descending to its level. Christianity must teach art to paint Christ, not to paint the world in a Christian 'spirit'; science must place Christ in the center of the universe, though it crucify all its formulas to do so (it is in that case that the formulas, not Christ, are wanting). [...]

It is not surprising that many modern Catholic 'realists' find the traditional teaching of the reign of Antichrist shocking—too 'literal' at any rate. For one cannot believe that everything 'natural' is good and at the same time see a reign of evil as its historical outcome.

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