I am proudly and, by God’s grace, faithfully Catholic. I am a “revert”, baptized as an infant but not raised in the faith, and having made a decision as an adult to embrace it. I love philosophy and theology, though I have no formal education in either.
I blog, among other reasons, to write about my “discoveries”, by which I don’t mean things that no one ever thought of before, but things that are new to me and which I find helpful or enlightening. I also like to get feedback and correction from people who know better. And of course I hope that others might, once in a while, find something I write interesting or helpful.
And sometimes I just need a place to post my half of an argument when it won’t fit in someone else’s combox.
Regarding the quote in the masthead: It’s from a G.K. Chesterton short story called “A Nightmare”, which is from the collection A Potpourri of Tales, and may be found here.
The quote in the masthead is by a critic of mine, whom I am not naming since he made the statement in a private email. As soon as I read it I thought, “What a great name for a blog!” At any rate, better than “Agellius’s Blog”. Here is the quote in context:
“If you don’t see them parroting your opinions, they are -ists of some type to be dismissed. This graceless, closed-to-reality mentality is all about the will to power (libido dominandi) which always fuels a heresy hunting mindset, especially among those who have no competence or authority to do it. Not letting prudence, humility, or a certain convivial generosity stop you reveals an inner demonism — the egophanic individualism that is actually one of the old hallmarks of modernity among critics of it. You equate your understanding of your particular sectarian form of Catholic Christianity and its institutional expression with God’s own truth primarily to justify your petty armchair popery — carried out from under the veil of anonymity. That doesn’t seem very healthy or virtuous by any standard, especially if you have a history of OCD issues. I think any decent priest or spiritual advisor would concur with this.”
The painting is by Fra Angelico and is called “View of the Convent of San Marco,” painted in 1436. Here evidently is a photograph of the same scene: Not as beautiful as the painting, is it?
The name Agellius is from Cardinal Newman’s novel Callista. I chose that screen name years before I had a blog. I identified with it because Agellius was a believing Christian, but also somewhat of a cowardly one (in a time of persecution), but in the end professes Christ before men despite extreme peril. I could identify with the former and aspired to the latter.
For what it’s worth, here is my Political Compass score:
Economic Left/Right: 0.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 2.72
I’m evidently right in the middle between left and right economically, but lean more authoritarian than libertarian. This sounds about right to me. As I read it, this doesn’t mean I’m a fascist, but I do believe in legitimate political and religious authority.