Epiphany, 2021


Image credit: Adoration of the Magi, Quentin Matsys, shamelessly pinched from here

From David Warren: Halcyon Days

Happily, this was also the logic of our Christian pioneers. Whatsoever was good, true, beautiful, could be Christianized with ease, and by the convert instinct, nothing would be lost. We are, or at least we were, not an iconoclastic cult, not “puritans.” Our religion was not announced by a “cancel culture.”

I’d like to dwell on this a moment because I think that it is very, very important. The Catholic impulse is not censorious. It is to assimilate and to save. When things are purified, they are not erased. Rather they are transformed into the best of themselves.

Nor do we fear contact with uncomfortable facts. (Biological death might be an example, or grievous illness, or debilitating pain.) This is part of life, and thus of immortal life, in the Christian conception of reality, and Salvation.

Some things in this world are inarguably unpleasant; I have actually participated in a few. It is our “human condition” for the duration of our stay on earth, if not longer. The Catholic cognizance of Purgatory is – to my mind, as ever – a guarantee of our commitment to the highest realism.