Uniting the Idealist and the Pragmatist

October 2, 2014

Cologne Cathedral Photo by Rockvet.

Cologne Cathedral Photo by Rockvet.

Alas, there is a modern tendency to divide the world between the idealist and the pragmatist, the metaphysical and the physical, or the spiritual and material, as if we were dealing with two different realities.

In a society that pursues its dreams, this separation need not be made. Both the ideal and the practical can be turned into a single reality. In fact, true dreams make use of what we might call two great driving forces—two powerful impulses of enthusiasm—that move the human soul in this direction.

Painting of a Mass at St. John Lateran in Rome.

Painting of a Mass at St. John Lateran in Rome.

The first driving force is the very essence of our dreams. It is that strong impulse towards that which excites our sense of wonder, admiration, and the marvelous, giving us the capacity to conceive marvelous things and a consuming desire to bring them about.

The landing of Pedro Alvares Cabral on the Island of the True Cross (present-day Brazil). He can be seen on the shore (center) standing in front of an armored soldier, who is carrying a banner of the Order of Christ. Painting by Oscar Pereira da Silva.

The landing of Pedro Alvares Cabral on the Island of the True Cross (present-day Brazil). He can be seen on the shore (center) standing in front of an armored soldier, who is carrying a banner of the Order of Christ. Painting by Oscar Pereira da Silva.

Christian civilization gave ample examples of this capacity to conceive with its magnificent liturgy, literature, art, architecture, and so many other marvels that were fully integrated into the lives of the common people, allowing them to live their ordinary lives in extraordinary ways.

Subscription13

 

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 327.

 

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share

Previous post:

Next post: