Friday, November 16, 2007

And in Charlottesville

And in Charlottesville at St Thomas Aquinas parish, Fr Augustine Thompson founded (2005) a schola that regularly sings at Sunday's early Mass, see their home page.

By the way, Fr Thompson's book "Cities of God" is reviewed by Amy Welborn, who says:

it's a book bursting with fascinating details, thoroughly and carefully related.

You may wonder..huh. A book about...what? Italian Communes? Religion? Why should I care?

For the same reason any of us should care about history - there's no way to understand the present without an awareness of where we have been. A truism, of course, and a point Catholics think that we get, but the thing is...we don't. We amateurs don't at least. We think we've got the general outlines of the past, but as history marches on, it's becoming clear how much of that outline was simply wrong and, in many cases, weighted by the prejudices of previous generations of historians who could not or would not tell the truth.

Part of this, too, is rooted in our refusal (or inability) to truly think historically - that is to allow the past to be the past without our hindsight. To see people and their choices in the context of their times, in the framework of what they knew and believed and what they could do, as opposed to what we think they should have done.

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