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too good to miss

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | May 28, 2010

In an excellent column explaining how the excesses of ambitious social engineering have contributed to a worldwide economic crisis, Mark Steyn makes an observation that's too good not to pass along:

In his book The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (La tyrannie de la pénitence), the French writer Pascal Bruckner concludes by quoting Louis Bourdaloue, the celebrated Jesuit priest at the court of Louis XIV, who preached on the four kinds of conscience: 1) the good and peaceful; 2) the good and troubled; 3) the bad and troubled; 4) the bad and peaceful. The first is to be found in Heaven, the second in Purgatory, the third in Hell, and the fourth—the bad but peaceful conscience—sounds awfully like the prevailing condition of the West at twilight. We are remorseful to a fault—indeed, to others’ faults. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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