Okay, Just One More

I post this because when I hear the word “Orthodoxy” I think “Exciting Adventure”. The reason I do so lies in these lines from GKC:

This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one’s own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom — that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.

God always hides things in plain view. You’ve been looking for mystical adventure and were disappointed when you turned to the New Age and got the same platitudes you could have gotten from a TV commercial? You turned to Progressive Religion and found that it never progresses beyond the same little round of catch phrases about peacenjustice, warmed over Marxism and Niceness is Nice rhetoric? You sought refuge in stultifying conservatism that lovingly pickles the Faith in formaldehyde and then posts guards around the museum exhibit with orders to shoot to kill anybody who might not know all the correct passwords in Latin? Then go for Catholic orthodoxy: the plain old life, teaching, and worship of the Church in union with Peter that has been handed on (despite the best attempts of us idiot Catholics to defeat it) for 2000 years by the protection of the Holy Spirit. On its worst days, there is still nothing more exciting, beautiful, good and true than this Faith. The sins of our clergy constitute great difficulties. They do not constitute a single doubt.


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