FAITH Magazine March – April 2011
Our first two main articles in this issue touch on the central concept of the third, namely the "recovery" of what has been lost. Yet, as we hope is clear from our current and previous editorials, such recovery does not simply mean returning to the past.
Fr James Tolhurst offers an inspiring reflection upon the constructive place of fasting in opening ourselves to the formation of the Holy Spirit. And Roy Peachey's brilliant description of the emergence of the novel from the British tradition of Christian "protest", and of the related de-Catholicisation of the English school curriculum, sets the scene for the Church to reclaim this tradition in the name of true humanism. Our next Truth Will Set You Free column will include some of his fascinating practical suggestions for Catholicising the curriculum.
Mr Peachey's piece highlights the subtle but all the more real danger for our young people from literature imbued with false ideas, and thus from the failure to synthesise our faith with good aspects of modern culture.
The Incarnational "recovery" of human knowing in the writings of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis is well brought out by Fr Roger Peck. Yet for us this epistemological dimension of the redemption is not from the supposedly "incurably" dualistic nature of human knowing but from stubbornly dualistic theories of human knowing which over the millennia of their influence have whittled away wonder. This was the theme of our November 2010 editorial on the relationship of scientific knowledge to our knowledge of the spiritual realm.
In our current editorial we attempt to show how recognising the centrality of the Incarnation to all of creation helps us solve some key modern confusions concerning the womb of woman. Fr Stephen Boyle's review hints at something similar concerning the heterodox leanings of catholic Process Theology, despite this school of thoughts' laudable and too lonely attempt to take science seriously. Fr Richard Conrad's beautiful reply to a thought-provoking letter takes the same Christocentric approach to the serious stumbling block of serious suffering.
As ever, we see that, in Agnes Holloway's phrase, Christ is the Master-Key unlocking the meaning of the universe. Or as the Second Vatican Council put it: "The Church believes that the key, the centre and the purpose of the whole of human history is to be found in its Lord and Master... who is the same yesterday, and today, and forever." [Gaudium et Spes, n.7]