Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

Click for Front Page of Current Issue (Home)

 Volume 1.9 This View’s Prose April 8, 2002 

    Mortal Man, Immortal Men    

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.

Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat — the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself — is truly hidden.


C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

    from “The Weight of Glory”

    The Glorious Victory    

Are unbelievers more numerous among us today than believers? Perhaps faith is dead and has been covered with a layer of secular daily habit, or even denial and contempt.... In today’s evangelical and liturgical event [Second Sunday of Easter] there is also an unbelieving apostle, one obstinate in his unbelief. “I will never believe it” (Jn 20:25).

Christ then said: “Examine my hands. Put your hand into my side. Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!” (Jn 20:27). Can it be that beneath unbelief there is downright sin, the inveterate sin which evolved people will not call by its name, so that mankind shall not call it by that name, and not seek remission?

Christ said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound” (Jn 20:22-23). Let man name sin by its name; he is not called upon to falsify it in himself, because the Church has received the power from Christ to exert over sin, for the good of the human conscience. These, too, are essential details of today’s paschal message.

The whole Church announces the paschal joy to all mankind. In that joy resounds victory over man’s fear. Over the fear which is in human consciences and arises from sin. That was the joy of the Apostles gathered in the cenacle at Jerusalem. It is the Church’s paschal joy, which has its beginning from that cenacle. It has its beginning from the empty tomb below Golgotha and the hearts of those simple men who “the evening of that first day of the week” saw the Risen One and heard the greeting from his mouth, “Peace be with you!”


Pope John Paul II

    from Insegnamenti di Giovannia Paolo II, April 13, 1980
Prayers and Devotions, ed. Peter C. J. van Lierde, p. 442

    The Defense of Liberty    
    What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
    from Speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, September 11, 1858
Collected Works
Volume III p. 95

 Volume 1.9 This View’s Prose April 8, 2002 

The View from the Core, and all original material, © E. L. Core 2002. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”