... the Apostle says, 'he that says he abides in Christ ought himself also to walk as He walked' (I Jn. 2:6). Otherwise we make a vain pretence and show, if we follow not His steps, Whose name we glory in, and assuredly they would not be irksome to us, but would free us from all dangers, if we loved nothing but what He commanded us to love.
Pope Leo I
Let man live at a distance from God, and the universe remains neutral or hostile to him. But let man believe in God, and immediately all around him the elements, even the irksome, of the inevitable organize themselves into a friendly whole, ordered to the ultimate success of life.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
the underlying struggle - between worlds of plenty and worlds of want; between the modern and the ancient; between those who embrace our teeming, colliding, irksome diversity, while still insisting on a set of values that binds us together, and those who would seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, a certainty and simplification that justifies cruelty toward those not like us...
All discourse of which others cannot partake is not only an irksome usurpation of the time devoted to pleasure and entertainment, but, what never fails to excite resentment, an insolent assertion of superiority, and a triumph over less enlightened understandings. The pedant is, therefore, not only heard with weariness but malignity; and those who conceive themselves insulted by his knowledge never fail to tell with acrimony how injudiciously it was exerted.
It is beyond a doubt that everyone should have time for some special delight, if only five minutes each day to seek out a lovely flower or cloud or star, or learn a verse to brighten another's dull task. What is the use of such terrible diligence as many tire themselves out with, if they always postpone their exchanges of smiles with Beauty and Joy to cling to irksome duties and relations?
Each one of us must in the end choose for himself how far he would like to leave our collective fate to the wayward vagaries of popular assemblies For myself it would be most irksome to be ruled by a bevy of Platonic Guardians, even if I knew how to choose them, which I assuredly do not I should miss the stimulus of living in a society where I have, at least theoretically, some part in the direction of public affairs.
I was aware of something stable in his nature. Ha game me a feeling of security, as if nothing I said or did would change his opinion of me. I never found his pleasantries irksome, partly, no doubt, because he was a Viscount, but, partly, too, because I respected his self-discipline. He had very little to laugh about, I thought, and yet he laughed. His gaiety had a background of the hospital and the battlefield. I felt he had some inner reserve of strength which no reverse, however serious, would break down.
Oh, gentlemen, perhaps I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life I've never been able to start or finish anything. Granted, granted I'm a babbler, a harmless, irksome babbler, as we all are. But what's to be done if the sole and express purpose of every intelligent man is babble-that is, a deliberate pouring from empty into void.
Oh, gentlemen, perhaps I really regard myself as an intelligent man only because throughout my entire life I've never been able to start or finish anything. Granted, granted I'm a babbler, a harmless, irksome babbler, as we all are. But what's to be done if the sole and express purpose of every intelligent man is babble--that is, a deliberate pouring from empty into void.
So we are mocked by this world when we speak of God's coming judgment against all sin, and when we plead that sinners come to the Savior to avoid Hell. But we can't give up because our task is irksome, or because we are mocked. Neither can we live self-indulgent lives, because our convictions aren't based on some man-made and fallible calculations. They are based on the immutability of the Word of God.
If the truth is boring, civilization is irksome. The constraints inherent in civilized living are frustrating in innumerable ways. Yet those with the vision of the anointed often see these constraints as only arbitrary impositions, things from which they-and we all-can be 'liberated.' The social disintegration which has followed in the wake of such liberation has seldom provoked any serious reconsideration of the whole set of assumptions-the vision-which led to such disasters. That vision is too well insulated from feedback.
Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! "" ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness then indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent. Perhaps indeed he or she to whom the free exhilarating ecstasy of nakedness in Nature has never been eligible (and how many thousands there are!) has not really known what purity is "" nor what faith or art or health really is.
Yet not so strictly hath our Lord impos'd /Labor, as to debar when we need /Refreshment, whether food, or talk between,/ food of the mind, or this sweet intercourse/Of looks and smiles, for smiles from Reason flow,/To brutes denied, and are of Love the food, Love not the lowest end of human life. For not to irksome toil, but to delight/ He made us, and delight to reason join'd.
Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a portion of mankind, after nature has long since discharged them from external direction (naturaliter maiorennes), nevertheless remains under lifelong tutelage, and why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as their guardians. It is so easy not to be of age. If I have a book which understands for me, a pastor who has a conscience for me, a physician who decides my diet, and so forth, I need not trouble myself. I need not think, if I can only pay - others will easily undertake the irksome work for me. That the step to competence is held to be very dangerous by the far greater portion of mankind...
Unless a man has the talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden.... We join a mass movement to escape from individual responsibility, or, in the words of an ardent young Nazi, to be free from freedom. It was not sheer hypocrisy when the rank-and-file Nazis declared themselves not guilty of all the enormities they had committed. They considered themselves cheated and maligned when made to shoulder responsibility for obeying orders. Had they not joined the Nazi movement in order to be free from responsibility?
Disputes with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; and the same passionate vehemence, in enforcing sophistry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not the source, whence either disputant derives his tenets; it is in vain to expect, that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles.
What the poet has to say to the torso of the supposed Apollo, however, is more than a note on an excursion to the antiquities collection. The author's point is not that the thing depicts an extinct god who might be of interest to the humanistically educated, but that the god in the stone constitutes a thing-construct that is still on air. We are dealing with a document of how newer message ontology outgrew traditional theologies. Here, being itself is understood as having more power to speak and transmit, and more potent authority, than God, the ruling idol of religions. In modern times, even a God can find himself among the pretty figures that no longer mean anything to us - assuming they do not become openly irksome. The thing filled with being, however, does not cease to speak to us when its moment has come.
The Author To Her Book Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, Who after birth did'st by my side remain, Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad exposed to public view, Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge, Where errors were not lessened (all may judge). At thy return my blushing was not small, My rambling brat (in print) should mother call. I cast thee by as one unfit for light, The visage was so irksome in my sight, Yet being mine own, at length affection would Thy blemishes amend, if so I could. I washed thy face, but more defects I saw, And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw. I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet, Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet. In better dress to trim thee was my mind, But nought save home-spun cloth, i' th' house I find. In this array, 'mongst vulgars may'st thou roam. In critic's hands, beware thou dost not come, And take thy way where yet thou art not known. If for thy father askt, say, thou hadst none; And for thy mother, she alas is poor, Which caused her thus to send thee out of door.
Marvel comes quickly, cloaked in the mundane. It's the woman waking to the smell of smoke as fire spreads, miles away, through her brother's house. It's the sharp flash of recognition as a young man glimpses, in the ordinary hubbub, the stranger with whom he will share his life. It's a mother's dream of her baby, blue in the cold store, six months before he comes, stillborn, into the world. Even the Church Fathers admitted the category of marvelous- or mirabilis, as they knew it. For them it was an irksome classification. A grey area. Compare the marvel with it's less troublesome metaphysical kin. In the thirteenth century, the miracle reflected the steady-handed authorship of the divine- truth made manifest. Similarly magic, or magicus, demonstrated with tell-tale showmanship the desperate guile of the devil. The marvel, however, was of poor performance and tended, therefore, towards ambiguity. It took shape in the merely mortal sphere. It seemed to lack the requisite supernatural chutzpah. Here, the clergy were typically surplus to requirements. Yet, if less outwardly compelling, the marvel was also less easily contained than either the miraculous or the magical. It remained more elusive. More stubborn. And if finally reducible in time, with the erosions of memory, to rationalization, anecdote, drinking tale or woman's lore, the marvel also rarely failed to leave behind a certain residual uncertainty. A discomfiting sense of possibility. Or, on bolder occasions, an appetite for wonder.
My mother delayed my enrollment in the Fascist scouts, the Balilla, as long as possible, firstly because she did not want me to learn how to handle weapons, but also because the meetings that were then held on Sunday mornings (before the Fascist Saturday was instituted) consisted mostly of a Mass in the scouts' chapel. When I had to be enrolled as part of my school duties, she asked that I be excused from the Mass; this was impossible for disciplinary reasons, but my mother saw to it that the chaplain and the commander were aware that I was not a Catholic and that I should not be asked to perform any external acts of devotion in church. In short, I often found myself in situations different from others, looked on as if I were some strange animal. I do not think this harmed me: one gets used to persisting in one's habits, to finding oneself isolated for good reasons, to putting up with the discomfort that this causes, to finding the right way to hold on to positions which are not shared by the majority. But above all I grew up tolerant of others' opinions, particularly in the field of religion, remembering how irksome it was to hear myself mocked because I did not follow the majority's beliefs. And at the same time I have remained totally devoid of that taste for anticlericalism which is so common in those who are educated surrounded by religion. I have insisted on setting down these memories because I see that many non-believing friends let their children have a religious education 'so as not to give them complexes', 'so that they don't feel different from the others.' I believe that this behavior displays a lack of courage which is totally damaging pedagogically. Why should a young child not begin to understand that you can face a small amount of discomfort in order to stay faithful to an idea? And in any case, who said that young people should not have complexes? Complexes arise through a natural attrition with the reality that surrounds us, and when you have complexes you try to overcome them. Life is in fact nothing but this triumphing over one's own complexes, without which the formation of a character and personality does not happen.