Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's It All About?

While reading up on the HHS Mandate, I came across this amazing interview with Walker Percy on the meaning of life:

Q: Are you a dogmatic Catholic or an open-minded Catholic?

A: I don’t know what that means . . . . Do you mean do I believe the dogma that the Catholic Church proposes for belief?

Q: Yes.

A: Yes.

Q: How is such a belief possible in this day and age?

A: What else is there?

Q: What do you mean, what else is there? There is humanism, atheism, agnosticism, Marxism, behaviorism, materialism, Buddhism, Muhammadanism, Sufism, astrology, occultism, theosophy.

A: That’s what I mean.

Q: I don’t understand. Would you exclude, for example, scientific humanism as a rational and honorable alternative?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: It’s not good enough.

Q: Why not?

A: This life is too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and then to be asked what you make of it and have to answer “Scientific humanism.” That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e., God. In fact I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything less.

Percy spoke at my commencement ceremony as he received the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame. The Laetare Medal is given annually to an American Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity." I'm sad to admit that I was pretty hung over that day and don't remember much of what he said. If it was anything like this interview, then I missed a lot.