With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with Beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed, and blessed, and blessed, and the work goes on. -- William Morris

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Vladimir Solovyov Quote

Those who feel horrified at the thought that the Spirit of Christ acts through men who do not believe in Him, are wrong even from the dogmatic point of view. When an unbelieving priest correctly celebrates the liturgy, Christ is present in the sacrament in spite of the celebrant's unbelief and unworthiness, for the sake of the people who need it. If the Spirit of Christ can act through an unbelieving priest in a sacrament of the Church, why can it not act in history through unbelieving agents, especially when the believers drive it away? The Spirit bloweth where it listeth. Its enemies may well serve it. Christ who has commanded us to love our enemies can certainly not only love them Himself but also know how to use them for His work. And nominal Christians who pride themselves on having the same kind of faith as the devils should call to mind another thing in the Gospel -- the story of two apostles, Judas Iscariot and Thomas. Judas greeted Christ with words and with a kiss. Thomas declared his unbelief in Him to His face. But Judas betrayed Christ and 'went and hanged himself,' and Thomas remained an apostle and died for Christ.

--- Vladimir Solovyov, “The Collapse of the Mediaeval World-Conception,” pp. 60 – 71 in A Solovyov Anthology. Trans. Natalie Duddington (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1950), 70.

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2 Comments:

  • At 6/09/2007 5:37 PM, Blogger Radical Catholic Mom said…

    Wonderful quote. Flannery O'Connor sounds like she was influenced by him.

     
  • At 6/11/2007 5:49 AM, Blogger Henry Karlson said…

    I have to say -- I don't know. It's possible, I guess, because Solovyov recieved many English readers in the early parts of the twentieth century. But I think more people are coming to recognize his genius now than ever before.

     

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