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Belloc to Chesterton Print E-mail
By Hilaire Belloc   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
The Catholic Church is the exponent of Reality.  It is true.  Its doctrines in matters large and small are statements of what is.  This it is which the ultimate act of the intelligence accepts.  This it is which the will deliberately confirms.  And that is why Faith through an act of Will is Moral.  If the ordnance map tells me that it is 11 miles to Wookey Hole then, [in] my mood of lassitude as I walk through the rain at night making it feel like 30, I use the Will and say: 'No.  My intelligence has been convinced and I compel myself to use it against my mood.  It is eleven and though I feel in the depth of my being to have gone 20 miles and more, I know it is not yet 11 I have gone'.

I am by all my nature of mind skeptical, by all my nature of body exceedingly sensual.  So sensual that the virtues restrictive of sense are but phrases to me.  But I accept these phrases as true and act upon them as well as a struggling man can.  And as to the doubt of the soul, I discover it to be false: a mood: not a conclusion.  My conclusion—and that of all men who have ever once seen it—is the Faith.  Corporate, organised, a personality, teaching.  A thing, not a theory.  It.

To you, who have the blessing of profound religious emotion, this statement may seem too desiccate.  It is indeed not enthusiastic.  It lacks meat.  It is my misfortune.  In youth I had it: even till lately.  Grief has drawn the juices from it.  I am alone and unfed.  The more do I affirm the Sanctity, the Unity, the Infallibility of the Catholic Church.  By my very isolation do I the more affirm it as a man in a desert knows that water is right for man: or as a wounded dog not able to walk yet knows the way home….

But beyond this there will come in time, if I save my soul, the flesh of these bones, which bones alone I can describe and teach.  I know without feeling (an odd thing in such connection) the reality of Beatitude: which is the goal of Catholic Living.
In hac urbe lux solennis
Ver aeternum pax perennis
Et aeterna gaudia.
 

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