Monday, February 18, 2013

To The Editor of The New Oxford Review

February 8, 2013

Dear Editor,

I am so thrilled with the article on philosophy by Thomas Storck (NOR, Jan.-Feb. of 2013) - that I can hardly contain my desire to congratulate you and him! But why must there always be the proverbial "fly in the ointment"? It can only be a part of God's plan, and I suspect that it may have something to do with the Third Secret of Fatima. However that may be, I refer to Dr. Storck's repeated linking of the work of "evangelical protestants", with the notoriously heretical "fundamentalism" of Islam. This link is never discussed nor specified, but left to the fertile imagination of the public and its readers. Such treatment really constitutes a gross injustice when one considers objectively and fairly, what the evangelical protestant creationists have done and continue to do to defend the Catholic traditional view of Genesis 1-3 against the currently dominating evolutionary worldview.

I refer especially to the Hexaemeral works of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church from the proto-typical Hexaemeron of St. Basil in the 4th century, up to and including treatises on the Six Days of Creation by Frances Suarez and St. Lawrence Brindisi in the 16th and 17th centuries. It would not be too much of a stretch to include the History by Sir Walter Raleigh and the great literary epic, Paradise Lost by John Milton, in this Hexaemeral tradition. When the current modernist rejection of this tradition is taken into account as an essential part of the crisis infecting the Church, it will be seen, I fear, that most if not all traditionalist and conservative Catholics are deeply complicit in this modernist heresy. Yes, Dr. Storck is absolutely correct when he concludes his excellent article on philosophy with the assertion that a return to St. Thomas is really the only way to escape the present perversity. But this return MUST, of necessity, include a return to and a continuation of the Hexaemeral tradition of the Fathers and Doctors. St. Thomas' own contribution is in the Summa, Part I, questions 45 through 75, et passim.

Post Script:

Allow me a few Thomistic comments on Dr. Alice von Hildebrand's article on the dualism of the human person. Although he does not have the last word, which is only God's, the explanation of our dualism by St. Thomas Aquinas is surely the most satisfying. According to St. Thomas, the human person, as person, ceases to exist after death. This is because the human being as a composite of soul and body, is united by one substantial form, the soul. This also constitutes the hierarchical relationships of soul to body, of "spirit" to "matter", of man to woman, of church to state, etc. For this reason, the state of the separated soul, or the soul after the death of the body, is that of an incomplete substance. The separated soul, therefore, is not completely happy, until it is reunited to the body at the general resurrection. This is what C.S. Lewis undoubtedly intuited when he saw a "proof" of the general resurrection, even in natural reason. There is also much to be said about the gravity of the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the exalted height of the state of original innocence from which they fell, to merit such a severe punishment as the death we all justly fear. I cannot help but see a kind of unreal romanticization of Mrs. Von Hildebrand's concept of human marital love as exemplified by Jacob and Ellcanah of Old Testament history. If Jacob's love for Rachael had been of the ideal kind that Mrs. von Hildebrand imagines, I feel certain he would have recognized Leah as the blear-eyed unbeautiful sister that she was. Similarly, Hannah's real desire was not for the "authentic" love of her husband, which she was assured of having, but for children, especially a son. God finally rewarded her authentic desire of all women by giving her Samuel. Kudos, too, to Dr. DeMarco, for exposing the phoney Aristotelianism of Ayn Rand. More good Aristotelian Thomism, please!!

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