June 15th, 1989, Serial No. 00979

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.



AI Summary: 





that we want to, here we come, you're wondering if you would bring the dog, but that might have been a bit. It's always good to locate a person you're studying in the century, find out what are the forces at work there. History is extremely important. This is the thesis of the great Judeo-Christian tradition. In someone like Joseph Campbell, you see so stressed the cycles of nature, and that's a great insight of the East. But the West feels that God is also acting through concrete history. God doesn't always, his side doesn't always come out on top, but it's an extremely important area. Well, someone like St. Anselm is much better understood, I think, in the terms of that century. So just take a glance at it. It is a century of the great schism of 1054 between the Eastern Church and the Western. The Patriarch of Constantinople excommunicates the Pope. The Pope excommunicates the Patriarch, and from that time on, there's, even much before,


they had been going psychologically and spiritually quite different directions. And at that moment, it's formalized in a very tragic way. Someone like Father Bruno does a typology kind of thing. The East goes more and more in the direction of the sapiential, that is the wisdom tradition, liturgy and mystery and contemplation. The monastic remains archetypal. Every Eastern Orthodox yearns to do a pilgrimage to Mount Athos or something like that. The West goes more and more in the direction of analysis, science, of the scholastic, and then spirituality takes more and more devotionalistic forms, interestingly enough. But it's not much after this that monasticism declines in the West. You get all these specified religious orders, of course, first the Franciscan, then the Dominican, then the Jesuits, and then all of these different orders, teaching orders and nursing orders and all kinds of orders.


In the East, you don't have that. You just have two great vocations, marriage or monastic. And the monastic are those who put the first commandment of our Lord first, and the marriage lived through the love of neighbor, the love of family and commitment to the world. Agape. So we become, according to the East, extremely complicated and inevitably cut off from them. We're just rushing down towards then the reform of the 16th century, another breakaway, as you get a violent kind of fidistic faith reaction against all the scholasticism. Luther says no to all these syllogisms. And so this was split more. From our reading, they get lost as more and more detached from real history, and they get stuck in an enclosed, you know, tribalistic, self-enclosed, sacred ghetto. It's a very oppressive, but is no longer in touch with the flow of history.


We have seen things like the Russian Revolution and the state of orthodoxy today, which assimilates to federalism. But the basic point is, it's much better to keep this together with all the flow and the immigration. Once they go, once you get formalized, this becomes much more forward. Comments, questions about that? What initiated all of this? Well, it's extremely complicated. We had a whole course on it at St. Anselm. But... You said there was... Technically, what was happening was a lot of stuff. There was a certain focius, as Patriarch of Constantinople. He was horrified that the Roman Church was sending missionaries into Bulgaria. And Bulgaria was a good orthodox, so it was actually not... So what, they were already differing? Oh, absolutely, at every level. Political, in terms of prestige. Already, Gregory the Great, back in 600, is fighting with the Patriarch of Constantinople,


who's just launched the title of Universal Patriarch for himself. And Gregory says, they don't do that. So there was this jockeying, who is first among equals? And what does the primacy of Rome mean? And then, at a certain point, Rome, because it's so political, but the Normans in Italy were subjecting the states to the south in Italy that belonged to the Byzantine Empire. And then the Pope got in and made them adopt the Latin Rite to abandon their Eastern Rite. Constantinople heard about this, was horrified. It seemed to be against diversity of liturgy and honoring the Eastern Church. So they forced the Latin churches in Greece to assume the Eastern. So there was all this bad feeling, and it just broke at this point. A formal reason is the filioque, and that would take a whole semester. But you have your great Nicene Creed, which comes out of the Council of Nicaea. And that council and the later council say, don't touch this. This is a document out of the undivided church.


Well, the Spanish church, around the 600s, adds this little phrase, and the Son, that the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but the Son, filioque, and the Son. This was against the Aryans, and then Rome picks it up. And then the Eastern churches are just horrified, saying, how can you take a creed of the ancient undivided church coming out of an ecumenical council and add things? You can't add things without another council. Well, I think we probably acknowledge now that it might not be wise to do that. So we don't require our Eastern rites to add that, and we still say it every Sunday, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. That and the Son was one of the motives for breaking East and West. But, good old Christians, but the good news now is we've gotten so much closer now to Vatican II, the Ecclesiastical Dialogue, and you must formally live on Paul VI,


and the Patriarch at that time, what's his name again? Pardon me? Yes. They lifted that mutual excommunication. So we don't know where we are now, but there's no longer that formal Western church excommunicating Eastern Western. We're not yet in full communion. They didn't celebrate the Eucharist together. We've been very close. We have this extremely high level dialogue, where we have eight or nine of our cardinals on the dialogue, and they have their top theologians. So now we're much more aware of the Eastern church. Just look at our library and all our periodicals. Just every evening, we chant the Myriad Hymn in front of this Eastern icon, and the first thing people see coming to our chapel is that other Eastern icon. So there is this bringing together again. And of course, one of the priorities of this pope in terms of communism is the Eastern church. The only problem being he's also very dedicated to the Eastern Rite churches


that are in communion with Rome, and they're a real obstacle for the Eastern Orthodox. So it's so complicated on both sides. But I just wanted to point to the fact and that we're all the poorer for the split, and Anselm, for instance, writes some of the first polemical literature to defend thee and the Son, as does St. Peter Damian. Now, you can make a good case even from scripture. Jesus says, when I am ascend, I shall send the Holy Spirit. It gets into the most kind of sublime Trinitarian theology that we try to get into here. But the bottom line that the Eastern church would say is even if it's true theologically, don't add it to the creed. There's all kinds of things that are true theologically that aren't in the creed. There's nothing about the Holy Eucharist in the creed, for instance. The creed doesn't want to say everything about everything. The creed wants to be a basic foundational document. So I think we're acknowledging that. So we would still hold that there might be a real wisdom


to thee and the Son. Questions, comments? Some of the other things that happened that century. Well, in the West, there's all this politics between the pope and the emperor and kings as to who has ultimate authority also in the church. The church had become so wealthy so that dioceses and abbeys were the center of great wealth and great power. Around an abbey would be a whole community of people employed by the abbey, and the abbey would have its own little army, et cetera. Lots of money. So some of the emperors and kings had wrestled from the Vatican the right to invest the bishop and the abbot with a ring encroisure. And then the pope was trying to get this back. And so you have this famous investiture battle as well. And so we'll be right in the middle of that too. It's a moving towards the secular in the West, whereas the East remains locked in the sacred.


And you have this pretty mellow alliance between El Tsar and Patriarch of Moscow, between King of Greece and Patriarch of Constantinople until the collapse of it all in the Russian Revolution, and now with a socialist government in Greece. The problem is when you go sacred a little too long, then it can just blow apart, and then you get your violent anti-clerical reactions. Whereas a case can be made, I think, that in the West, through the Enlightenment, the church has been dragged, kicking and screaming into the modern. We might have lost a great deal from it, but we also are very much, the church is aware that there is such a thing as evolution. There is such a thing as Freud and Jung. There is such a thing as civil rights, et cetera. When you study scripture, it is legitimate to use scientific techniques where you examine the manuscripts,


where you ask, well, who really is the author? Is there an oral tradition behind this? What are the different levels and the influences of time, et cetera? In Eastern church, much of this is still absent. It's just this sacred, eternal, fullness of truth kind of thing. So I was talking to one person, very much involved in the dialogue with the Eastern church. He says, it isn't basically theology. It's basically a whole way of seeing things where we do see things in terms of 20th century categories, and they see things in terms of, often neoplatonic 10th and 11th century categories. For instance, they'll still just condemn origin and praise the holy orthodox theologians. They don't recognize that the holy orthodox theologians have been tremendously influenced by origin. Now we through scholarship know that kind of thing. So it's that kind of simplicity.


They call Constantine and Helen, these great saints were equal to the apostles. And careful historical research suggests that Constantine in many ways was a pretty ambiguous figure. So it's that kind of cultural difference. On the other hand, they have a sense of mystery and a sense of beauty in liturgy and profundity in the icons and full zeal in something like the Jesus prayer, et cetera. And we're so caught up in secularism and we, some would argue, we're so limited to particular devotions and we're just now recovering a sense of liturgy and scripture and the whole, again, sapiential wisdom tradition. Finally puts it back together again, putting first things first and second things second. Questions, comments? In the West, it was a great expansion and explosion of religious creativity, though. The cathedrals who start to be built in England,


Anselm is up in England. He's one of them decisive for the first building of the enlarged Canterbury Cathedral. So you go to Canterbury and you see that's the Anselm wall and this is the Anselm crypt. And it's quite a lovely way to get in touch with history. And of course, what happened in 1066, right in the middle of Anselm's life. Yeah, the Normans, that's right. Yeah, the Normans. And of course, he comes across with that Norman invasion and the last invasion of England. Sir? Thomas Beckett. Yeah, it was the Normans. Right from Utah. So, see it, Anselm of Canterbury. Fascinating, complicated man, because he's now moving with the West


away from this early medieval patristic biblical view that's, again, sapiential, typological, liturgical, biblical. It's all kind of one glorious trinitary history. But he's getting into the scholastic, analytical. One of the key influences on him is Oedipus, who translated key sections of Aristotle. Sapiential depends a great deal for its theoretical categories on Plato, he was a great musician. Eastern churches still inherit from Thomas, with all that news, also in terms of the sky and so on. But with Oedipus comes Aristotle, and so we'll see Anselm, he has great enthusiasm by the rigorous use of the brain since God created the mind. He feels that it should just be stagnant. How do we put it into its most rigorous employment to the glory of God? But that's quite a different current than the Platonic.


I don't know how many of you were present at Father Owen's lecture on the painting of Raphael, hands high, what's his name? Anyway, in one of the so-called School of Athens, who he contests that name, you know, Plato's walking down and pointing up and Aristotle's pointing down. There's some truth to that, that Aristotle is in touch with the concrete, this specific being, and Plato tends more to the eternal forms, et cetera. Well, both of these are in Anselm's, he's an extremely complicated character. Plus he's involved in all kinds of ongoing battles with the king, so he's all involved as Archbishop Canterbury, the political. He yearns for the cloister, he's quite a mellow Benedictine. He's so mellow that he'll put you to sleep, Benedict to words, sometimes. But he's very different from Peter David in that regard. But he's caught up in the middle of these feisty battles and he has to flee at one point from England and from the king and go to Italy.


But in some sense, we still have this kind of struggle, certainly monks do. See, monks come from an undecided church. You know, the rule was invented back in the 6th century. So we don't know this kind of split. So the kind of Eastern Church perspective in some respects is ours, but we take it. So when we get, find ourselves in the 20th century, we're up here, but as 20th century men, we also have to know about the sciences, about the chemistry, about psychoanalysis, about all this stuff, you know, that I didn't see. And then some of these human concerns, religious concerns, et cetera. So I think in the life of each of us, there's this kind of tension and it's interesting to see how he lived it. With him, according, you no longer have a full synthesis


of the Christian mystery. He is particularly interested in specific problems. Why did God become human flesh? And he writes a brilliant treatise on just that question. Is it irrational? Is it foolish to say that God exists? Is it just blind faith? Or is it in harmony with the deepest insights of natural human reason? Since again, the God, our Redeemer, is the God, our creator. Specific issues like that, is the filioque legitimate? And more and more, you'll find theology getting into specific issues and analyzing them according to kind of rigorous theoretical categories. He used the Aristotelian. Today, you might use Heidegger or something at Berkeley. But this can get so dry, and for such a select group of elite intellectuals, that you lose the whole masses of people. And then you get a split between theology on the one hand


and spirituality on the other. In the scripture, with the Gospel of John, you have theology and spirituality there, pastoral theology and everything else. But as you get into the 16th century, you get this dramatic split. It's just beginning here. And so you'll read in something like The Imitation of Christ, a very anti-intellectual bias by concerning yourself with the books of men, when you can concern yourself with the word of God, this kind of thing. I'd rather live function than know its definition, and it goes on and on and on. This is because theology has gotten so abstract, so scholastic, working with syllogisms, that it seems to have nothing much to do with real life. And so then you get into the devotion, and then The Imitation of Christ comes out, what's called the Devotio Moderna, a modern devotion. But it's a different approach to spirituality than you have in the undivided church. And you already see this very strongly in Anselm.


He composes a series of prayers to saints that are very moving, but you just wouldn't find them back in the sixth century. And with a particular anguish about sin, a particular fear of hellfire, all kinds of stuff that's characteristic as you get later and later, and a kind of a split between head and heart. And this is a man who's trying to be both head and heart, and in some ways succeeds. Does the Eastern church have any of these devotions that are devoted to saints? Well, certainly in that form. But you wouldn't- Where did they get it from? Because you said it wasn't before the split, where did the Eastern church get it? Yeah, what I mean is something like saying a, what is it called? St. Bartholomew. Well, that kind of thing, or, you know, say, Our Father Hail Mary, and then St. Jude will do this kind of thing for you, or-


So you're distinguishing which type of devotion? Well, yeah, from the very beginning, there's a great veneration of the martyrs, for instance. And this is because they are living the full paschal mystery. Now, it's something later, take the passionists, say, who are focused on the passion of our Lord. That you wouldn't tend to find in the Eastern church because the passion of our Lord is undivided from the resurrection of Christ. Take the order of Jesus, Child Jesus, there's sisters dedicated to the mystery of the Child Jesus, that's beautiful. There's sisters dedicated to the sacred rib of our Lord. All this kind of thing, it's great, but it's that kind of almost dissecting of the mysteries, because we can't, we no longer see how it all holds together. So you're saying that, okay, yeah, dissected, the devotion got warped. They got, no, well, I would say they get partial, they get very partial.


They're popular devotions for the common people because they can no longer understand the Eucharist. Eucharist is no longer at the heart of their spirituality. They'll go to the Eucharist, because they got to, it's a mortal sin if they don't. But they'll say the rosary there, you know. There they're saying the rosary while the priest is up there with his back to them in Latin, mumbling Latin. And so, now that, at its best, in the Eastern church, in the Eastern church you get all kinds of stuff too, because it's something of the same problems, but liturgy and Eucharist and all that is right there. You have the saints, and they're all there in the iconostasis focused on the Christ of glory, for instance. The way of the cross, the stations in the cross, you know, they finish with Jesus in the tomb kind of thing. Now, this is unthinkable for the ancient church. This is unthinkable for the Eastern church, this kind of thing. The Eastern ones, they don't have any kind of religion. So, I mean, there were some from some place in the world


that had tried to incorporate the rosary just to, you know, for a few years in the United States, but it's the Jesus prayer in the home. You know, they get right back into the mass prayer. They start chaplains and prophets. They quote the prophets, but it's not the same way. Chaplains, if you say this prayer, you get such an indulgence kind of thing. Well, the thing we were talking about at table the other night, becoming a slave to Mary, handing over all your merits to Mary, and going to Jesus as Mary's slave kind of thing. Very interesting. Characteristically, you know, what is it? 18th century French. The whole thing, you know, of working up merits and then handing them over as a slave to Mary, and then she'll hand them over to Jesus, and then Jesus will hand them over to the Father, you know. This is pretty late. This isn't exactly what. Kind of along the way. Yeah. Do they have the kind of Eucharistic tribes


that are there? They don't have that. Yeah, you don't kneel there before the, yeah. People didn't understand it until they were doing the rosary thing, because rosary wasn't a part of it. No, that's right, no. Or at the stations. But they also have things like, when we look at some old prayer books, people who are completely devoted to this saint, their whole life is this saint. They don't have that. St. Rita, St. Jude, St., hmm? This is very different from what you get, for instance, in the rule of St. Benedict, or the monastic heritage. That's why, now I think at its best, it enriches the faith. This can be a little too mysticogical, but I think in the context of the whole, and when you still keep together the sapiential whole, a good man to read on this is our Father Vagagini, who was an expert at Vatican II, and it was on the pontifical theological. Cyprian Vagagini. He is, and he's also the parent of all the


dialectic history of St. Vagagini. He was professor of theology at St. Nicola. But his master work is theological dimensions of the liturgy. He starts out with the whole Trinitarian thrust of the New Testament. Not that the New Testament talks about Trinity, but it always has this Trinitarian dynamic that everything comes from the Father, through Christ in the Spirit. Now everything is returning to the Father through Christ in the Spirit. This is what Eucharist is, this is what liturgical prayer is about, and then traces it in the early fathers. And so it's a profoundly Trinitarian, paschal, biblical, Eucharistic spirituality. Now again, if you get into something of Our Lady of Sorrows, that kind of thing. Even something at the latest, what is the last secret of, yeah, that kind of thing. Now, if it's in the whole, that's one thing. But you get some people,


this is the major focus of, now that's, for the Eastern Church, quite, I mean, they have Mary appears and calls back to the Lord and to the sacraments, into the full Trinitarian history. But this kind of thing. Yeah, it seems to me that what I'm hearing is the distinguishing between maybe a devotion that is really healthy, because it's within the whole context of the Church, versus a devotion which becomes something that alienates one from the whole context. Becomes almost primary in place of. So, it sounds more like, how it is incorporated into the rest, into the fullness. I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the key thing. And the monastic tends to stress the sapiential whole. Some of the modern orders stress the parts. Again, if you become a Passionist,


you have a special devotion to Calvary, et cetera. If you become a, I don't know, Sister of the Infant Jesus, it's the mystery of the Infant Jesus. Sister's the Holy Family, it's the Holy Family, and at Nazareth kind of thing, the sacred, there's Sisters of the Precious Blood, et cetera, et cetera. Saint Jude, and Saint, all these saints that have their particular orders, and particular devotions, and chaplets, and indulgences, et cetera. That comes more and more later. Okay, I don't know. No, they joke about the Sisters of Jesus of the Paschal Family blown out. It's easy to get whimsical, but it's an interesting phenomenon. Well, Vatican II, just read the documents of Vatican II on liturgy, on Holy Revelation. Liturgy says, yes, devotions, but again, in this context of the primacy, and the primacy of liturgical piety,


of the whole Christocentric Trinitarian. So, Saint Anselm will have a tremendous influence on later theologians, also through his famous proof. Great theologians will affirm it and delight by it. Other theologians will refuse it. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus are convinced. Thomas Aquinas is not. Moderns, Kierkegaard likes it, Karl Barth likes it, but it's an interesting, as we'll see, hearthshorn of modern English philosopher. He feels there's some substance to it that grabs the mind. Then he comes as Archbishop of Canterbury to Italy. There's the Council of Bari against the Greeks, and against their heresy of denying the filioque. So they ask Anselm, the Pope asks Anselm, with his brilliant mind, to come up with a defense of the filioque, and he does. And the Pope says at the Council, let Anselm come up and be part of our circle.


He who is in some ways the Pope of the other side of the globe, that is the British Isles. So this has been quite an open door to ecumenism. The famous Benedictine ecumenist, Adol Lambert Baudouin, said, see, the Archbishop of Canterbury is something like a patriarch in the West, and this is a way of approaching the Anglican communion as sister church, et cetera. So that's still being worked on. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, back in his time, was an extremely important, as it should be, office, the Pope of the other side of the world. Not patriarchs, they're abbots. Oh, the Gallic in France, yeah. They always had quite an independence. I never heard of a primate with the Canterbury soul emerged in the British Isles. Fonts are interesting. Again, there's a whole series of fonts.


This is another way of studying that. Who does he read? Who influences him? And in the West, we have our strong influences. It's fascinating. They come from very different backgrounds. So we just lose our electricity. Oh, there we go. OK. So you can trace each one of our thoughts, spirituality in terms of the life we've lived, the people we've read, the prayer groups we belong to, et cetera. Well, he, of course, scripture is decisive, as it is for the whole second dimension. Then, in a particular way, we're hearing this a bit in origin. You can write it crazy, but it's deepest memory that has a deep insight. That's the typological reading, typos. Someone like Jung would say, it's probably true that this is more proof in your analytics. What modern biblical scholarship does is take a verse and carve it to pieces. That's legitimate, too. But this says, you read about David. It's not just about David. David is preparing for Christ. David is prefiguring.


Now, we'll hear more and more Joshua is prefiguring Christ, and Israel prefigures the church, and the enemy of Israel prefigures the whole area of the world, or sin, et cetera. This is the way we think at the deepest level. This is the way that people who know scripture think. So someone like's origin is closer to the mind of St. Paul than some modern exegete, which is interesting. But anyway, he's also very much a scripturer. He's in the rules of the Bible. Same with scripture. He's writing, of course, literature. It's kind of a miracle to him. He's writing the Bible seven times a day. And then, Augustine, who's a great scripter, he's supposed to be talking about it. So there's this whole second nature of the pathology of his beliefs. So very different currents that mean very different sides to him. Interesting life. He was born in Italy. Kind of a wild childhood. Then he wanders up to France and becomes a monk at the great abbey of Becq.


And he becomes master of the school and teacher there and prior. And there he writes some of his key works, including the proslogium that worked to read the prologue to. And then he becomes himself abbot of Becq. Becq is re-established in our time and has this lovely covenant of friendship pact with Canterbury Cathedral. It's an ecumenical thing because of his historical bond. Anyway, he's called by the Norman king, William II. They've just arrived in England to come and bring some of this Norman civilization to this land of barbarians. So he goes up there, but he gets into terrible fights with the king about who really has authority over the church. So he has to rush off to Italy, et cetera. The pope and the king make an alliance kind of behind his back. But he does come back, and he dies archbishop. He was a fellow in the exact same time. Very difficult. Oh, indeed. That was all kinds of struggles there. So let's look very briefly and then ponder it for a week,


and then we'll come back and discuss it today. His fundamental proof. How many of you have wrestled with this proof, know its terms? OK. It's great. I'm thoroughly inspired by it. Something I'd love to see more of. Now, what is he doing with it? Some say it's strictly a meditation of faith. Here's this Mongolian's means. He wants to explore something called the history of God, of a very category, of a very idea of God. It implies the existence of God. This is deproved, anyone. This is just as his own meditation. Others say, no, leave a lot inside that pious stuff. He's really trying to prove to atheists the existence of God. Some argue, I think more subtly, it's both-hand, that it's within the larger context of faith. He also thinks that it works for reason. So think about that. What on earth is he doing?


He says, in the New World Charter, as you were talking, you can't believe, first of all. Well, he says, in a very autobiographical, I do not seek to know in order that I may believe. Rather, I believe in order that I may know. But he'll also say, I can prove to the foolish atheists that God exists. He says both things. So some people say he's involved in the most confused methodology. He doesn't know what the hell he's doing. Others say, it's still this medieval where it all goes together. God, the medieval is God, our creator. So what convinces me in faith should also, if it's rigorous enough, since faith is against reason, convince the man. Let's go very briefly through the fundamentals. So he's written in a form of a dialogue, which is classically Platonic. So does God exist? This is the basic question.


So someone says, I don't think God exists. You've got plenty of those people around today. So his basic question is, now notice you're using this word, God. It's not a nonsense syllable. It's not like saying booga-booga doesn't exist or chicka-chicka doesn't exist. There's this word that has some content of meaning. Because you're using it, and you think it's meaningful, and you think, I understand. If you look it up in the dictionary, there's God with a definition, supreme being. So he says the first point is the word is not a nonsense word. It has a content. Apart from the question, does it exist outside of our head? Just like leprechaun is a clear word. It has a content. You look it up in the dictionaries there. The only thing is, it doesn't exist outside of the head. You don't want to be in the Irish when they've had a few drinks. So the question is, the term God has a meaning. What is this meaning? Let's use this working definition of supreme being.


That is that than which nothing greater can be. That's a working definition. Now we have to decide whether it really exists out there outside our head. Like we can give a definition of leprechauns. A two-foot little green critter in Ireland. A very clear definition. And it's not a nonsense syllable. Now, do leprechauns exist outside the head? That's, we don't have to deal with that. But does God exist? Why not? Let's deal with leprechauns. Next time. I could be a leprechaun also. That being than which nothing greater can be conceived. Which nothing greater can be conceived. This is very important. This is very important. Greater than can be conceived. That is supreme being. Nothing's greater. That's our definition. Than we can conceive. OK. So we have this dialogue going on.


It's a dialogue between the heart and the self-believer. It's also a dialogue with someone who dares to deny God. So he says, all right, now look at this. If this is what the idea indicates, you can't deny the existence of this reality outside the head. Why? Because if it didn't exist outside the head, if it existed only as an emotional idea, it would no longer be that being than which nothing greater can be conceived. Because you could conceive of something greater. That is, a supreme being that exists both in the head and outside. Right. So the very idea that explodes beyond the mere level of notions and ideas of humans and implies a being objectively, really, independently, supremely existent, this isn't the case at all with leprechaun. There's nothing in the definition of leprechaun that requires its existence, or unicorns, or whatever. But this is the one category, the very idea of which requires us,


if we're rigorous in our thinking, to acknowledge that it exists not just in the head. It certainly exists there. That's a good idea. But also in reality, it surrounds, sustains. Now this is what's grabbed and challenged people from the beginning. As I say, I have this friend who was an agnostic atheist, a scientist. This pulled him back into faith. Now some people say, no, it doesn't work. He doesn't trust the idea that God exists. Oh, sure. I mean, I can't remember. Immediately then, God is more supremely close to us than we ourselves. Yeah. He follows Augustine there. And God offers a light for his insight, et cetera. So it's a profoundly imminent God. It's also a God who isn't just an idea, not just a notion made up by human beings, like leprechauns and drunken Irishmen. Are you ready with me, Jesus? So this is his mind-blowing idea. This is the one idea that requires of us an acknowledgement


that it's not just at the notional level, within the brain, but that the notion refers to, in reality, can't be denied. You're all excited about this. You must be very excited. So it is a contradiction in terms to say, God doesn't exist. If you work out rigorously, you'll be by God. If you meet some little idol, some little man with a white beard on a cloud. But if you meet a supreme being, a supreme being has to be. And supremeness can't be just a matter of ideas. How did you do that? Because then you would be supreme. Because we believe in the conceit of a higher form of supremacy. I may have a very clear idea of $500 in my pocket. And I could see that and visualize it. But that doesn't mean $500 bucks are there. But it would be better for me if it existed not only up here


and in my pocket. You agree? I'll bet my brother. Sure. Are we convinced? So this is his famous ontological proof. As I say, there are some philosophers who aren't particularly, they're more churchy. But they feel he's proven that this is a new category. It's unlike any other category. That if you rigorously take it seriously, you have good knowledge. And so what he's saying is, my God, if we take seriously these ideas, even in our own head, they fill us with a wonder and awe for God that forces us to do these kind of things. Because God did create the mind and did enable us in the light of God's truth to see that even the very category of God leads us, if we go the full way rigorously, up to reverence of God and worship. And so he ends up. He begins in prayer, as you'll see in the prologue, illuminating about this thing. Is there a way to prove to the atheists that God exists?


At the end, again, he's filled with zeal. My God, how great you are. He ends in kind of a blasphemy prayer. So it's a fascinating poem. You won't find this. There's kind of a little seed of this already in us, but quite a period of the mind. Something like this kind of rigorous mind work, but we do find, we were discussing the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the guru tradition, and other currents of Hindu thought that had very rigorous theoretical. We're still in a kind of anti-intellectual thing that we've inherited out of the anti-scholastic movement that comes out of the 1600s. But it may be that getting back to what they call now a spirituality of creation, affirming all creation. Another step of that is affirming our own body, not just body, also mind. And then rediscovering the astonishing things that can be done with a rigorous use of mind. Sometimes we're kind of dualistic there.


We affirm today the body, not only the age. But we're still suspicious of that mind, suspicious of that mind. Father? One may be as adamant about not believing in God, and then through reason has led to give consideration to this definition. Would it be solely his reason that's bringing him up there, or would it be perhaps the gift of faith starting to germinate within him? Well, there you are. What about collision? The whole collision. Well, let's address this. I think certainly Anselm would say it would be truth. Because we can only understand truth, which is light, in God's truth and God's light. So even if we see any little truth, two and two equals four, that's true. That's in the light of God that enables this. So it's all grace in that sense. So it's never just, I sit down and I play,


so it's never just collision. I do it on myself, by myself, independent of God, because it's all sustained and illumined by God. My experience, as I say, with this friend in college, he had been an orthodox, he'd fallen away, he was a physicist, and now science was all that. But he says, give me a proof. Is this just something totally irrational you're into? Is there no way you can challenge me at the ground human thought? So I toss, as I say, first it was a rational thing, he'd chewed on it for weeks. At the end, he became, again, a very devout orthodox. So for some people, it just interests them kind of as a mind game. And it's fascinating on that level. Now, Thomas Aquinas is not convinced by it. He says there's an illegitimate passage from the level of idea to the level of reality. You can never make that passage. And he had the clearest, most distinct idea of Falstaff, because Shakespeare was such a vivid image.


And Falstaff might be more real to me than the person I spent three years in college with. Here's something that's fine. That doesn't prove that Falstaff ever existed in story. And so I say that's perfectly right. With the one exception of this category, look at it by its own inner meaning and implication. It requires that you acknowledge that it's not just notionalistic. It's not just an idea. But it's an idea that corresponds to an objective, trans-notional reality, the supreme reality. If you say, basically, the supreme reality, you think of the supreme reality. Yeah. If you take supreme being seriously, don't just say the words, but then start to think. What's implicated by saying supreme? How could it possibly be supremely be if it were only a notion of being that is not supreme? So chew on it for a week.


You will come back and see where we are in this. And then we'll see other dimensions as well. We'll get into the devotional prayers, the man's self. You can read those also if you want. Did he talk about angels? Did Adam and Eve have navels? This is what he asked. No, that's the last thing. Did Adam and Eve have navels? Good. A basic Catholic principle is that the abuse of a thing does not eliminate its use. Don't stand by that. 90% of Catholicism isn't. You're very clear. All right.