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The Silence of St. Thomas by Joseph Pieper (1953)

The Silence of St. Thomas by Joseph Pieper (1953)

Choice quote: "What is self-evident is not discussed."

Few things slap a person in the face like St. Thomas's silence. It's a stunning rebuke to everyone, everywhere. Do you, writer, hope to create something as great as The Summa? Do you, reader, think you'll gain any insight that Thomas didn't glean? Do you, newspaper reader, think that stuff isn't straw? Do you, modern man, think all this ephemeral stuff is real, much less important? Do you, dude typing right now, think this has any relevance anywhere? Bring on Fahrenheit 451's firemen!?!? They say John Fisher kept a picture of a dead man in front of him while he ate. I hear Theophan the Recluse kept a picture of a man in a coffin in his room. Both reminded them of death. Good practice. But I'd like to keep a picture of Thomas's silence in front of me. But there were no Polaroids back then, and even if there were, you can't capture silence in pictures. For that reason alone, his silence doesn't speak to us in today's world. But it ought to. Ours is a noisy world because everyone thinks he has something to say, to contribute. And, of course, they do: in their little world of the family and household and, if they're really great, in their community. But in the grand scheme of things, they have nothing to contribute. All is straw.

Leisure, The Basis of Culture by John Pieper (1948)

Leisure, The Basis of Culture by John Pieper (1948)