Thursday, May 06, 2010

Fulton Sheen

The following quote is from chapter 2, "Cosmic Intimidation" in Fulton Sheen, "Old Errors and New Lables" (1931)

A normal mind looking at the vast expanse of the heavens is naturally led to the conception of an Omnipotent Being Who threw them into space and endowed them with a law so that orb could pass by orb, and planet by planet, without ever a hitch or halt. It is an abnormal mind that begins immediately to think of pettiness when it sees power; it is not natural for a man who looks at a skyscraper to think of the littleness of the flea, but rather at the greatness of the mind that conceived it. A great mural pointing that covers the side of a corridor does not make a sane man think of a dwarf, but of an artist. When a modern mind stands amazed at the size of the cosmos and argues that even on this earth man is “far outdistanced by the cockroach,” he is indulging in the same kind of fallacious reasoning that would make him conclude that L’Enfant, who designed the city of Washington, is only an infant, because the city of Washington is bigger and bulkier and therefore better than he is.

…the first false assumption underlying this type of anemic thinking [is] that greatness is to be measured by quantity rather than by quality.

The cult of magnitude is driving the modern mind mad; it has so obscured its mental vision as to blind it to other dimensions than those of length, breadth, and thickness. It is well to remember hat the contained is generally worth far more than the container, even though the contained rattle around in the container like a diamond in a cracker-box. The really great things of the world are not always the immense things…

This book brings out in a more readable fashion the points made in his very deep and much more difficult read, "God and Intelligence," his first book, written in 1925.

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