Joyful Cosmology

(1) Woody Allen’s Bleak Vision by Rev. Robert Barron

“If you consult the philosophers of antiquity and the Middle Ages, you would find a very frank acknowledgement that what Woody Allen observed about the physical world is largely true. Plato, Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas all knew that material objects come and go, that human beings inevitably pass away, that all of our great works of art will eventually cease to exist. But those great thinkers wouldn’t have succumbed to Allen’s desperate nihilism.”

(2) A complementary quote from Peter Kreeft:

“We have all breathed that modern air, even those who disbelieve it or even despise it. Our lungs are full of reductionism, which is dead air. Then, suddenly, a gust of wet, salty air blows in from the sea, and our spirits spring up like children, full of mysterious joy. A smell from another country, a gleam of celestial beauty falling on our jungle of filth or imbecility (to use a formula from Perelandra itself). An angel, a heavenly messenger, a star. Ralph Waldo Emerson (I think) said: ‘If the stars should appear only one night in a thousand years, how mankind would wonder and be grateful for that vision of Heaven that had been shown!’ Well, something like the “Great Dance” appears only once in a thousand books. That is why we appreciate it, as a Bedouin appreciates an oasis.”

(3) Another from Daniel Lanahan, OFM:

“The ultimate explanation of our dissatisfaction must be that we have been planned, projected, and made for something deeper, something more essential. Yes, we are destined for a personal relationships with people in life; but the aim is that through them we finally encounter God, before whose face alone we realize our being, our profoundest fulfillment and deepest happiness. As Augustine prayed: ‘You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.'”

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