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Thursday, July 21, 2011


After seeking the opinion of several of my opinionated friends, I have been encouraged to stop bothering them with my various strong opinions in philosophy, theology, and aesthetics, and to instead start organizing my thoughts in a coherent fashion in a forum where I can get feedback and correction from my friends and strangers - in other words, to start my own blog.  Since this is my first post, I would like to lay out the intentions and scope of this blog, in order to provide a roadmap or table of contents for what I intend to accomplish.  Secondly, although most of my readers will already know me at least as I get my blog started, I will provide a brief introduction of myself and my background.

After opening this account I checked to make sure I wasn't plagiarizing the name, and came across a different blog entitled "The Wild Truth:  Reeling but Erect:  Adventures in Orthodoxy", which looks quite interesting but has no posts to show.  Any similarity to that blog is completely accidental, except for the fact that we both take our cue from our mutual inspiration, G. K. Chesterton.

I am a 22-year-old graduate student in astrophysics, having graduated cum laude from Benedictine College with degrees in physics, mathematics, and astronomy, and a minor in philosophy.  I was received into the Roman Catholic Church along with my family in 2002, and after exploring different rites of the Church I found my home in the Byzantine Rite, and after a period of discernment requested and was granted a canonical transfer to the Carpatho-Rusyn Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma in Great Lent of 2011.

My goal is evangelization through culture, to seek the fullness of truth as it is expressed through beauty.  Like the emissaries of St. Vladimir, when I first entered a Ukrainian Catholic temple, I knew not whether I was in Heaven or on earth, and had seen no such beauty on earth.  I am a Romantic by temperament, worldview, and choice, and I live the fullness of the beauty which the Romantic poets, artists, and composers described in the Catholic religion by living it and striving after the holiness it promises.  My heritage is both the theological aesthetics grounded in literature given to us by Hans Urs von Balthasar and the living liturgical and iconographical heritage of the Christian East, and I seek to meld those two as perfectly as possible in my own life and thought, without compromising the real distinctions between East and West (in other words, a synthesis, not syncretism). 

I strive to practice the Eastern Catholic faith in its fullness and purity, and to fight the so-called "Latinizations" and other corruptions that have plagued our Church especially since the Unias.  Likewise, I respect and fight for the traditional, authentic form of Roman Catholicism practiced in the Tridentine Mass.  I obey the holy Pope Pius XII's call to Eastern Catholics to "convert the Latins - that is, convert them to a love and appreciation for the Christian East", in order to overcome the schism (in mentality and mutual regard and not just in ecclesiastical separation) that has divided East from West, and divided our separated Oriental brethren from both of us.

I also seek to cross the divide between the Judaeo-Christian civilization which so admirably reconciled the revealed religion coming from the Jews with the natural philosophical wisdom of the Greeks and the Oriental civilization whose origin stems from India.  If all men are granted logoi spermatikoi orienting them to the Word of God as the Fathers taught, and if all truths are "spoliae Aegyptorum" which must be planted in the bosom of the Church, then if the Church is truly universal its truths can subsume and adopt the language and heritage of India no less easily than that of Greece.

Finally, I want to overcome the chasm that has developed between faith and reason since the birth of the scientific revolution.  Modern science has explained the physical world admirably well where traditional metaphysics failed, but scientists have yet to go back to the scholastic metaphysical project and re-work the traditional ascent from physics to metaphysics to theology using modern physics rather than the antiquated speculations of Aristotle.  As a Ph.D. student in actual physics, I am receiving the tools I need to carry out this metaphysical project, though this is not the fundamental purpose of getting a Ph.D. in physics which is simply to do research in physics.

Everything I write is only provisional, subject to correction by the final teaching of the Church to whom the deposit of faith is entrusted, and divinely appointed arbiter of Orthodoxy.  Making errors is a professional hazard for the amateur theologian, one which I expect to make many times especially as I wander into uncharted waters.

I humbly dedicate and consecrate this blog to Our Lady the Theotokos, "our tainted nature's solitary boast", and to St. Cecilia, patroness of sacred beauty, for whom I have a special fondness.

Slava Isusu Christu!  Slava Na Viki!  Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory to Him forever!

I close with a poem of Wordsworth, taken from his Ecclesiastical Sonnets, part II, sonnet XXV:

Mother! Whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven's blue coast:

Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven, the suppliant knee might bend
As to a visible power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
Of a mother’s love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene.


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