Dung…St. Edmund Campion…


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Going old school to the 16th century, today’s quote on dung by St. Edmund Campion is not just beautiful but drop dead gorgeous. Heck, even the word “beautiful” is in the quote! Over the years my reading has brought me to other “dung” quotes so I’ll have to make a series out of this on this blog. One “dung” quote was used by St. Thomas More towards Martin Luther. Another “dung” quote is from St. Paul in Scripture.

But here’s today’s quote:

Gold, glory, pleasures, lusts. Despise them. What are they but bowels of earth, high-sounding air, a banquet of worms, fair dunghills. Scorn them. Christ is rich, who will maintain you. He is a King, who will provide you. He is a sumptuous entertainer, who will feast you. He is beautiful, who will give in abundance all that can make you happy. Enrol yourselves in His service, that with Him you may gain triumphs, and show yourselves men truly most learned, truly most illustrious.”

Rationes decem (Latin for Ten Reasons) by St. Edmund Campion. The reprint was published in 1914…and the first edition of the Latin original was printed in 1581.

I would add there are many more dunghills to add to this list. There’s assuming things not based on logic or evidence. Training in good philosophy would help here…such as Thomistic thought as Aquinas starts with exterior evidence (i.e. there is creation, then through different ways argues for our Creator), whereas a very annoying Cartesian thought starts with the mind. Take Descartes’ famous quote “I think therefore I am.” It starts with the mind. When that’s your starting point, you can assume anything you want. By the way, by the end of Descartes’ life, that famous quote is all Descartes could say he knew with certainty.  That makes sense that that would be all you could know with certainty (based on the mind as the starting point). #rationalizeAnything I’ll give Descartes credit that he knew everything else was rationalizing (again if the mind is your starting point).

I think good philosophical training is one of the biggest needs in our world today. In my own small world, I see people who start with the mind, assume, and reject logical, evidence based counter-arguments. And they’re suffering because of it. Their lives aren’t as full as it could be. I pray for them. But good philosophy would help them and those around them greatly. And I’m not saying I’m a great guy because I believe in my philosophical foundation. I have a ways to go in other areas, but I believe this is an area of need for many.

St. Edmund Campion, pray for us.
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.

Go old school and drop the dung (see what I did there?)
Mike Panlilio

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