Friday, August 7, 2009

"...these treasures are not adequately appreciated."

"I would urge upon all who are called upon in any capacity to teach religion to the people, that they keep carefully to those salient points in the broad lines of Christian truths of which it may be said that they are Catholic, that they have been held 'always, everywhere and by all.' We are here not of our own motion but of the Church's appointment, and we are commissioned to teach, not our own peculiar views of the things to be believed, and the things to be done, but what the Church teaches. This body of truth is presented to us in the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and in the striking summaries and paraphrases of them which our short Catechism contains. They contain truths so compact and terse in statement, that, as the intelligent teacher, familiar with the Scriptures, dwells on them, texts and incidents, - impressive, pathetic, tender, - from the Historical Books, the Prophets, the Psalms, Gospels, Epistles, rise up in the memory and leap forward ready to expand, illustrate and enforce them. I fear these treasures are not adequately appreciated. Religious emotions are of high value, but they rise and fall. They are not perennial. Religious opinions rise up and flourish in each age, in individuals and little coteries, and are like the passing highly-colored cloud. They attract attention and pass away. But the great truths taught in the formulas just referred to are not dependent upon emotion. They are not matters of opinion. They are seed truth. They are capable of perpetual germination. Once lodged in the mind, they 'spring and grow up and bring forth fruit, we know not how,' even though they be long inactive and apparently dead, and from their renewed life, holy emotions and pious opinions and right living result almost as a matter of course."

William Hobart Hare
Missionary and First Bishop of South Dakota
Address to the Convocation of Japanese Clergy and Laity
Tokyo, March 1892

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