Today I am remembering Fr. James V. Schall – Jesuit priest, longtime professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University, and the author of more than thirty books. He died around this time two years ago.
I had heard that he had given a Last Lecture at Georgetown entitled “The Final Gladness,” but I only listened to it for my first time this evening.
Here is the video of the lecture and below are some highlights in summary as well as some brief thoughts on the value of a last lecture.
In the chapter on Hope in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis discusses the paradox that “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
I certainly observed this during my studies and travels throughout Europe during which I was continually struck that the most beautiful art and architecture was made by people who believed in the immortality of the soul whereas materialists always seemed to produce the most ugly and bland structures and stuff.
There is something about looking forward longingly to the world to come that makes us more effective in this world than we could possibly be otherwise.
Yesterday I started a six-week course called Journey of the Soul: A fresh look at life, death, and the rest–in peace. Throughout the course, we study death in its philosophical, emotional, and practical dimensions.
One highlight from the first session was hearing an anecdote about Rabbi Dovber of Meseritch.
Today marks the first anniversary of the death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
Much has been said and written about the faith of the family, and there is something that I find remarkably demonstrative of that faith in the speech Vanessa Bryant delivered at a memorial.
In her 20-minute speech about her husband and daughter, Vanessa Bryant alternated, in a subtle way that seemed very deliberate, sincere, and full of faith, between speaking in the past and present tense.
Already in 1840, Alexis de Tocqueville discovered and diagnosed in Americans the fear of missing out or, as it is now called – FOMO.
In Volume III of Democracy in America, Tocqueville juxtaposes Americans with those in the Old World who “are very ignorant and very wretched; they are not involved in governmental affairs and often governments oppress them. But they usually show a serene face, and they often exhibit a cheerful mood.”