Excerpted from an article by the remarkable David Warren titled:

In Defence of Hell (February 5, 2012)

http://oldcitizen.davidwarrenonline.com/index.php?id=1381

…Many years ago, when my comfortable faith in atheism suddenly cracked, and I began realizing that the craziest claims of Christianity might be true – and that if they were, I was in big trouble – I found myself enchanted by the rhythms of the Church calendar…

…[I took] an almost sensual delight in the poetry of liturgical movements and expressions, in something telling a story, like a play. I felt a monition against neurosis, in the light of truths beginning to make sense above the level of “pure reason.”

In retrospect the Mass does its work at many levels, beginning with the most visible, for what is beautiful conducts us towards reverence, and reverence unfolds dimensionally into Love. You came for a reason, but like a winter coat, it was no longer necessary inside. You put it on again, when leaving.

My memory of those days was rekindled by a single phrase, a chapter heading, in a recent book by the Jesuit professor of government, James V. Schall. The book is rather generically entitled, The Modern Age; but the chapter, more specifically: “The Brighter Side of Hell.”

Reason cannot know its vocation, without faith; man cannot know his vocation, without God: the book makes points like these, while returning at successive angles to the extraordinary invocation in the opening of the Confessions of St Augustine: “Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee.”
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