“Within its modest limits” because outside of the devoutly attended Masses on the Saturday and Sunday, there was little outwardly supernatural about the Conference. Let us say that it was a session of sanity rather than sanctity, but we notice immediately that at least in English the word “sanity” makes up three quarters of the word “sanctity.” Grace builds on nature, and it can hardly build on the insanity and corruption of nature to which the world around us is giving itself over, day by day. Sanity is therefore more important than ever, even for supernatural purposes. If the “Resistance” is presently making so little apparent headway, is it not because there is just not enough sanity still around to recognize and cast out the mind-rot, and the rot of true obedience and sanctity?
In Dr White’s first lecture he spoke of David Copperfield, Dickens’ own favourite amongst his many novels, and specially linked to Broadstairs. This is because on Dickens’ many visits for work or holidays to his beloved seaside town, he came to know an eccentric old lady who lived in a small house still existing on the sea-front. She so impressed him that he built her into David Copperfield as Betsy Trotwood, an eccentric old lady who takes in the orphaned hero of the novel and protects him until he finds his way in life. In her mouth Dickens puts his own hatred of Puritanism and Calvinism, said Dr White. At least once in his life Dickens was told that Catholicism is the one true religion, but he never became a Catholic. However, he had a supreme respect for the Gospel of Christ, and genuinely good-hearted characters tumble over one another in the pages of his novels.
On Saturday afternoon there followed a visit to the sea-front house of “Betsy Trotwood,” now a Dickens Museum; full of Dickensian memorabilia and with a Dickensian curator. Then the second conference was on Bleak House, first novel of Dickens’ second period, when England was growing darker. Bleak House attacks lawyers and the law in particular, but in general, said Dr White, it attacks a System more and more in control of society, demoralizing and crushing the innocent sheep. Politics are becoming meaningless and the aristocracy is losing touch with reality, but an inhuman System is driving forward until it will finally collapse under its faksehood, in the manner of Vatican II, added Dr White.
The third lecture presented on Sunday morning Hard Times, another of the darker novels, about the total lack of real education, 150 years ago! Without education of the heart, Dickens knew that human beings will be cold and inhuman. Dr White drew on his decades of teaching in the USA Naval Academy to back up Dickens’ portrait of the enormous stupidity of the social robots engineered by an “education” spurning history, the arts, music, literature and especially poetry. The result, he said, is the boundless boredom of youngsters today, a reflection of pure nihilism.
However, conference participants went home feeling neither bored nor nihilistic, but much refreshed. Deo Gratias.
Contact Us: Please write to the applicable email address from among the following with your questions, comments, or concerns:
- for comments to the author about a particular issue of Eleison Comments.
- for general questions or comments.
- to resolve technical concerns or problems.
- for back issues of Eleison Comments.
Donate While Eleison Comments is provided free of charge, there are administrative and technical costs associated with making it available to subscribers worldwide and with operating this site. Contributions to offset these costs are appreciated, and may be made via the button below or by contacting:
© 2011-2014 BRN Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
A non-exclusive license to print out, forward by email, and/or post this article to the Internet is granted to users who wish to do so provided that no changes are made to the content so reproduced or distributed, to include the retention of this notice with any and all reproductions of content as authorized hereby. Aside from this limited, non-exclusive license, no portion of this article may be reproduced in any other form or by any other electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review, or except in cases where rights to content reproduced herein are retained by its original author(s) or other rights holder(s), and further reproduction is subject to permission otherwise granted thereby.
Permissions inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.