Commonplace Book #12

The world…gives birth to enmity.  Says Saint Augustine of the city of man, “Each individual in this community is driven by his passions to pursue private purposes,” his “dreams” as we sentimentally call them now.  But these objects “are such that no one person (let alone the world community) can ever be wholly satisfied” because we are made by God, for God, and “nothing but Absolute Being can satisfy human nature.”  That means that “the city of man remains in a chronic condition of civil war” (City of  God, 18.2).  We see this sad truth born out in the relentless political unrest of our time.  There is no Sabbath to relieve us of our laborious enmity, as there is no secular sacrament to heal our exhausted spirits and nourish us after the depletion wrought by ambition and lust.

Anthony Esolen, Nostalgia, 169.

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