We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

in the din of the present

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 05, 2007

Earlier this year I called attention to R.R. Reno's excellent remarks on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the publication of Allen Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind. Reno was mainly concerned how the changes Bloom described had affected university life. In the current New Criterion, Mark Steyn has some incisive commentary on Bloom's observations with respect to the larger picture:

"Popular culture" is more accurately a "present-tense culture": You're celebrating the millennium but you can barely conceive of anything before the mid-1960s. We're at school longer than any society in human history, entering kindergarten at four or five and leaving college the best part of a quarter-century later -- or thirty years later in Germany. Yet in all those decades we exist in the din of the present. A classical education considers society as a kind of iceberg, and teaches you the seven-eighths below the surface. Today, we live on the top eighth bobbing around in the flotsam and jetsam of the here and now. And, without the seven-eighths under the water, what's left on the surface gets thinner and thinner.

One more reason not to let the liturgy get absorbed entirely into the present-tense culture.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2007 11:46 PM ET USA

    Of course, for most of history - even EUROPEAN HISTORY - people could barely conceive of the fact that there was seven-eighths of an iceberg below the water. In fact, they couldn't conceive of it all. Maybe his classical education could have given Steyn a little more facility with metaphors.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2007 7:11 PM ET USA

    the liturgy in the venacular is not present day culture... it goes back to the time of Jesus!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 05, 2007 3:31 PM ET USA

    We need to sing a new church into being!

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21