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Josef Pieper

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"Modern religious teaching have little or nothing to say about the place of prudence in life or in the hierarchy of virtues."
--
The Four Cardinal Virtues

 
Josef Pieper

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The primary meaning of the words "modern," "modernity," with which recent times have baptised themselves, brings out very sharply that feeling of "the height of time" which I am at present analysing. "Modern" is what is "in the fashion, "that is to say, the new fashion or modification which has arisen over against the old traditional fashions used in the past. The word "modern" then expresses a consciousness of a new life, superior to the old one, and at the same time an imperative call to be at the height of one's time. For the "modern" man, not to be "modern" means to fall below the historic level.

 
Jose Ortega y Gasset
 

The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.

 
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
 

The Pythagoreans called the monad "intellect" because they thought that intellect was akin to the One; for among the virtues, they likened the monad to moral wisdom; for what is correct is one. And they called it "being," "cause of truth," "simple," "paradigm," "order," "concord," "what is equal among the greater and the lesser," "the mean between intensity and slackness," "moderation in plurality," "the instant now in time," and moreover they call it "ship," "chariot," "friend," "life," "happiness."

 
Iamblichus of Chalcis
 

Jesus...is the final priest who makes all priesthood obsolete not merely the performance of ritual sacrifice, but the office, pomp and circumstance of priestly authority and hierarchy itself. Instead of deferring to any caste of religious hierarchs, followers of the Way are thus now summoned to collectively be a "royal priesthood," a "chosen race" or "holy nation" built not upon offices of any kind but upon transferred allegiance to God's in-breaking "kingdom."

 
Jesus Christ
 

They will ask: "Who gave you the Teaching?"
Answer: "The Mahatma of the East."
They will ask: "Where does He live?"
Answer: "The abode of the Teacher not only cannot be made known but cannot even be uttered. Your question shows how far you are from the understanding of the Teaching. Even humanly you must realize how wrong your question is."
They will ask: "When can I be useful?"
Answer: "From this hour unto eternity."
"When should I prepare myself for labor?"
"Lose not an hour!"
"And when will the call come?"
"Even sleep vigilantly."
"How shall I work until this hour?"
"Enhancing the quality of labor."

 
Nicholas Roerich
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