Which is which? Print
By John Courtney Murray   
Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Is the presence of God constitutive of man’s historical existence or destructive of it? In order that a man may exist, may “stand forth” as a man in freedom and in human action, what is required – that he recognize and acknowledge the presence of God, as the Old and New Testaments say, or that he ignore and refuse God’s presence, as the Revolution and the Theater say? In order that the people may exist, organized for action in history as a force to achieve an historical destiny, what is required – that they disown God or own themselves to be his people? What is it that alienates man from himself – the confession of God’s presence in history and in man’s consciousness or the suppression of him from history and the repression of him from consciousness? How is it that a man or a people comes to desist, to “stand down” from human and civilized rank, to fall away into absurdity and non-existence – through knowledge of God or through ignorance of him?

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