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Fr. Gabriel Mosher, O.P.'s picture

Vacate et Videte

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I've come across a fantastic author. John Senior was a professor at Kansas University. From all accounts, he was a truly inspiring educator. The monuments to his deep commitment to academic integrity are two Bishops, Wyoming Catholic College, and Clear Creek Monastery. He has inspired an entire sector of the Catholic Church in America to greatness; the greatness that only comes from a deep reservoir of love. His fierce commitment to God, the Church, the idea that is America, and all humanity radiates from his well crafted prose. It is as if a certain Catholic journalist from England were to have taken up flesh a second time, and as an American.

I've completed his first work, The Death of Christian Culture, and I've begun it's companion, The Restoration of Christian Culture. But, let me be clear: both works are more serious than even their titles suggest. They are not light fare. These slim books posses a surprising weight. Yet, the pages nearly turns themselves.

Essentially, these books are a clear minded critique of the state of Christian culture, i.e., western civilization. Dr. Senior clearly and accurately diagnoses the ailment with which we all unwittingly suffer. Then, critique concluded, he offers real solutions. He does not provide simple solutions; the complaints themselves are far from simple. Yet, working as a master diagnostician he discovers the illness and proscribes the treatment.

Here is a prime example:

First, negatively, smash the television set. The Catholic Church is not opposed to violence; only unjust violence; so smash the television set. And, positively, put the time and money you now spend on such entertainment into a piano so that music is restored to your home, common, ordinary, Christian music, much of which is very simple to play. Anybody can learn the songs of Steven Foster, Robert Burns, the Irish and Italian airs, after even a few hours of instruction and practice. And families will be together at home of an evening and love will grow again without thinking about it, because they are moving in harmony together. There is nothing more disinteresting of love than artificial attempts to foster it in encounter groups and the like: Love only grows; it cannot be manufactured or forced; and it grows on the sweet sounds of music." (The Restoration of Christian Culture)

Ignore him at your peril. Read him to your delight. Regardless, read him you must.