Reflections on Sacrifice

Sometimes truth comes riding into history on the back of an error.”  Reinhold Niebuhr

From Aristotle we can learn how to unleash our wonderment upon life; to cherish all the understanding yet achieved by man. . .

From Voltaire we can learn how to restore the fiery furnaces even in old age; to rekindle the feeling of outrage at bigotry and injustice; to start the wheels of intellectual action rolling so fast they shock the conscience of a nation with clarity and power. . .

From Nietzche we can learn about the ironies of having your most eloquent phrases timely ripped from context and misused to further the very causes you spent your life fighting. . .

From Schopenhauer we can learn something of the courage required to face life when your inner machinery has been tangled and twisted, but you know you must continue to live, meaningfully, usefully and honestly as possible. . .

From Augustine of Taagaste & Kierkegaard we can learn how to accept the burning guilt of being human, all too human, to transform the pain of the human condition into service for others. . .

From Francis Bacon & Niccolo Machiavelli  we learn from the agony of life in exile, of being permanently severed from your life’s work, your friends, your livelihood, being challenged to cope creatively with years of solitude; of being forced to learn to live with yourself. . .

From Aquinas & Albertus Magnus we learn something of the superhuman discipline required to order vast stores of human knowledge; to record with great personal strength, all you know as a legacy to your faith. . .

From Plato & Einstein we can come to appreciate the adventures of the mind, the soaring flights into excitement that remain beyond immediate perception. . .

From Galileo we learn something about mustering the courage of our convictions against the pressures of conformity; and, with the knowledge that evidence remains on our side, win through to personal victory by means of your own courage and stubbornness. . .

From Wittgenstein we learn what it means to think our own thoughts, to press against entire formal institutions that reject your work. . .

From Spinoza we learn how to live with final and total rejection by those we hold dear, in the preservation of our own personal, hard fought independence and integrity; avoiding vindictiveness, yet witnessing those more formidable than us, ostracize you from your own hard won achievement. . .

Only a life the corresponds to the demands of our Creator is worthy of such sacrifice. . .

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
This entry was posted in Sacrifice, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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