Saturday, December 11, 2010

Knox - Treasure-House

Every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old. - Mt 13,52

IT IS A HUMAN WEAKNESS of ours to be always crying out for complete novelty, an entire disseverance from our past. Our old traditions have become so dusty with neglect, so rusted with abuse, that we are for casting them on the scrap-heap and forgetting that they ever existed. The Church conserves; she bears traces still of the Jewish atmosphere in which she was cradled; traces, too, of the old heathen civilization which she conquered. And in her own history it is the same; nothing is altogether forgotten; every age of Christianity recalls the lineaments of an earlier time. People think of her as if she kept a lumber-room; it is not so; hers is a treasure-house from which she can bring forth when they are needed things old as well as new ...

That is the secret of the modern world's antipathy towards the Christian religion, and towards the Catholic Church in particular. They hate it not because it is something arrogant, not because it is something uncomfortable, not because it is something foreign, but because it is something out of date. They know that it will always bring new things and old out of its treasure-house, will not consent to the modern worship of the modern. And they know that there is strength in this deeply rooted tradition which can yet absorb, as it has absorbed all through the ages, lessons that are new. Stat magni nominis umbra ...

The modern world lives on its intellectual capital, exploits the prevalent doctrine of the moment in the interest of its heresies; floodlights the universe with a gleam of partial illumination, or darkens the skies with doubt; the Church, who is wiser and older, stores new things and old alike in her treasure-house, and brings them out in their due relation to enrich, permanently, the experience of mankind.

- Ronald A. Knox

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