Favorite Subjects

Okay, fair enough. I have more than one favorite subject. One is St. Polycarp. Another is fist-fights involving clergymen.

St. Polycarp wrote a letter to the Philippians. He gave props to St. Paul. But St. Polycarp added a few edifying words of his own, including:

Serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and have believed in Him who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory, and a throne at His right hand…He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him. But He who raised Him up from the dead will raise up us also, if we do His will, and walk in His commandments, and love what He loved…Faith is the mother of us all.

…So to return to the metaphysics of morals: Can we deny that the fundamental foundation of morality is faith?

We do not know God. That is, we know that He exists, but we do not know Him as He is. We cannot see that He watches our every move.

Rather, we believe that we will be judged for our actions by the omnipotent Creator. Because we believe what Christ has revealed, we want to please Him.

I appreciate all the responses on this subject so far. Any thoughts on this?

…P.G. Wodehouse is the funniest writer of all time. Only he could successfully narrate a priestly fist-fight, involving Bertie Wooster’s old college chum, the Rev. H.P. “Stinker” Pinker, who intervenes to save Gussie Fink-Nottle from the hands of Roderick Spode:

…It was not, as I was saying when I interrupted myself, pusillanimity that held him back. Under normal conditions lions could have taken his correspondence course, and had he encountered Spode on the football field, he would have had no hesitation in springing at his neck and twisting it into a lover’s knot. The trouble was that he was a curate, and the brass hats of the Church look askance at curates who swat parishioners. Sock your flock, and you’re sunk. So now he shrank from intervening, and when he did intervene, it was merely with a soft word that’s supposed to turn away wrath.

“I say, you know, what?” he said.

I could have told him he was approaching the thing from the wrong angle. When a gorilla like Spode is letting his angry passions rise, there is little or no percentage in the mild remonstrance. Seeming to realize this, he advanced to where the blighter was now, or so it appeared, trying to strangle Gussie and laid a hand on his shoulder. Then, seeing that this, too, achieved no solid results, he pulled. There was a rending sound, and the clutching hand relaxed its grip.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried detaching a snow leopard of the Himalayas from its prey — probably not, as most people don’t find themselves out that way much — but if you did, you would feel fairly safe in budgeting for a show of annoyance on the animal’s part. It was the same with Spode. Incensed at what I suppose seemed to him this unwarrantable interference with his aims and objects, he hit Stinker on the nose, and all the doubts that had been bothering that man of God vanished in a flash.

I should imagine that if there’s one thing that makes a fellow forget that he’s in holy orders, it’s a crisp punch on the beezer. A moment before, Stinker had been all concern about the disapproval of his superiors in the cloth, but now, as I read his mind, he was saying to himself, “To hell with my superiors in the cloth,” or however a curate would put it; “Let them eat cake.”

It was a superb spectacle while it lasted, and I was able to understand what people meant when they spoke of the Church Militant…(Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, chapter 15)

…Also, all parents should definitely watch this important public service announcement: