Jan 10, 2009

Fr Neuhaus, RIP

I have been remiss in extending condolences to the folks over at First Things magazine. Their head honcho, Fr Richard Neuhaus passed away after a battle with cancer this week. Know that I have included him in my prayers this week.

Fr Neuhaus was a strong stalwart of conservative Catholic thought but unlike the usual stereotypes of traditional minded Catholics lacking in deep thought, Fr Neuhaus always raised the bar intellectually. As friend stated, "I might not agree with much that is written at times in First Things, but man do they raise the bar intellectually. Their arguments are always well-thought out and smart.

One of his famous quotes abbreviated here, on death itself:

We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already underway. The work of dying well is, in largest part, the work of living well. Most of us are at ease in discussing what makes for a good life, but we typically become tongue-tied and nervous when the discussion turns to a good death. As children of a culture radically, even religiously, devoted to youth and health, many find it incomprehensible, indeed offensive, that the word "good" should in any way be associated with death.

The church lost a good servant in Fr Neuhaus and a strong intellect who was an admirable for for those on the Catholic left. He always challenged the modern culture not simply for the sake of being a thorn in their side but to try to bring a different perspective to what he considered superficial in today's modern world.

May he rest in peace.

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