Yes, yes, I know I posted a lot of talk and audio links yesterday, but I’ve got a new one. 

 

This is just to let all you video and podcast lovers out there that several new items have been added to my Listen to Talks page.

 

Am I responsible for the historical sins of white folk against black?

Certainly not because I shared in them; I didn't.

Certainly not because my ancestors did; they hadn't arrived in the country yet.

Nor because my skin is the same color; if you insist on talking about ethnicity, I am of Polish and Ukrainian extraction, not English.

 

I guess I am still be thinking about last week’s theme, the two kinds of discontent, because the curious saying in Robert Browning’s poem, Andrea del Sarto, came back to me the other day:  "Ah, a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

 

There are two kinds of discontent.  If we endlessly desire material things, even though we have enough, this is intemperance.  But if we endlessly desire God, for whom we were made, of whom we cannot have enough until the life to come, this is hope.

 

Recently I spoke with a student who was strongly attracted to the view of marriage maintained by the natural law tradition.  He told me, though, that he had been cohabiting with the same woman for five years, and “we consider ourselves married.”  His question:  Isn’t this the equivalent of marriage?  Does it matter?

 

The mainstream of the classical tradition links the reality of the natural law with the reality of God.  Thomas Aquinas, for example, says that just as the authority of good human laws depends on the natural law, so the authority of natural law comes from the Eternal Law – from the Wisdom by which God made and governs the universe.

 

A reader comments:

I hadn’t seen your important point about the woman being at a disadvantage in cohabitation made before in quite the way you did in your post “Cohabitation Is Not Marriage Prep.”  A personal anecdote: