Tuesday 27 October 2020

The wisdom and discernment of Joseph Pearce

In this testing year of 2020, it has been one the the major sadnesses to observe how many Christians who I once respected have failed to discern the truth, and who have in consequence joined the side of Satan. But equally, it has been a great encouragement that others have shown themselves to be wise. 

One of these is the remarkable literary scholar and social commentator Joseph Pearce - about whom I have written several times. I mention him again firstly because it has become difficult to find anybody worth reading in these days; secondly because he is an orthodox and faithful Roman Catholic convert - but one which may not be known to my RC readers, and thirdly because he is an expert on JRR Tolkien and the Inklings.

Pearce is vastly productive, and it may be difficult to know where to start. Probably the best place is his essays for The Imaginative Conservative

Here is a taste from a recent essay by Pearce asking the question: Are we becoming a nation of gollums? This is a reminder of what has-happened and is-happening to so many of the Leftist-favoured "minorities" who have taken the Global Establishment-offered bait of identifying themselves as 'privileged' members of the victim class.

Here’s the paradox. Although we are halflings, we cannot remain halflings. We must either grow towards the wholeness of holiness or we must shrivel into the wreckage that Pride will make of our lives. 

Doing nothing is the sin of omission which leads to decay. We can either be Ring-bearers or Ring-wearers. We can either take up our cross or we can crucify ourselves. 

As we watch our culture succumb to the power of Pride, we are witnessing the gollumizing of our brothers and sisters. Demanding the right to self-destructive addiction, they are shriveling into pathetic wrecks of the people they are meant to be, while simultaneously making a wreckage of the society in which they are living the wreckage of their lives. 

Paradoxically, their only hope is to be found in the enemies whom they refuse to love. It is those who are striving to become more than halflings who are the only hope for those who have become less than halflings. As the gollumized souls are killing themselves with Pride, humble souls must lay down their own lives for their gollumized friends. 

As Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam learned to love and pity Gollum, and as Christ laid down His life for his friends who were determined to be His enemies, so must we do likewise. The only antidote to the poison of Pride is the healing power of humility. The only escape from the hell of hatred is heavenly love.



William Wildblood said...

"We can either be Ring-bearers or Ring-wearers. " That is very true and it is what current events are quite rapidly bringing out. Of course, even if we make the right decision with regard to these current events we still have to carry on making it anew every day as Frodo had to in the face of constantly growing difficulties and tests.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William. Yes. I think the key is repentance. We are sure to stumble and fall; but so long as our pride does not stop us from acknowledging and repenting, we will nonetheless be alright. Actually Joseph Pearce wrote something specifically about the distinctively modern sin of 'pride in pride': https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/10/systemic-pride-problem-joseph-pearce.html