Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs. —Inspector Mortimer, in Muriel Spark’s Memento MoriWhat does our mania for bottled water have to do with memento mori? More than a little, I think. Stay with me, please, while I work this out. Tomb in Arcadia. Illustration for manuscript by René d’Anjou (1457). A bottle of one’s own is a token of our times. We are all hydrophiliacs now. It used to be that bottled water was the sensible alternative to tap in tourist meccas with precarious hygiene. Continue Reading
Among the many thoughtful letters that came in response to the previous post, one in particular articulated thoughts that you yourselves might have. The one below comes from a man familiar with the founding of an Anglican Mission for Aborigines in North Queensland. Herewith: Animal Sacrifice. Tomb of Iti-Ibi-Iger (2190-1976 BC), Egypt. Museo Egizo, Turin.
Dear Maureen: I have often wanted to reply to your articles, but until I read the one on why you do not allow comments at the bottom of your articles on First Things, I had never noticed your email address .Continue Reading
At this point, it seems opportune to recall all the primitive religions, the Animist type of religion, which puts first emphasis on the worship of their ancestors. It seems that those who practice it are particularly close to Christianity. Among them the missionaries of the Church more easily find a common language. —John Paul II, Passing the Threshold of Hope
To serve the loa [spirits], you have to be a Catholic. —Haitian peasantThe future of the Church in Europe is bleak. Continue Reading