Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Friends and Allies

Ronald A. Knox (1888-1957), Enthusiasm: A Chapter in the History of Religion with Special Reference to the XVII and XVIII Centuries (1950; rpt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 292:
In this imperfect world a man cannot stand by himself, armed against criticism by his own honesty of purpose; we creep together for warmth, ally ourselves for mutual defence with other men whose opinions overlap, but do not coincide, with ours.
Cf. his Pastoral Sermons and Occasional Sermons (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002), p. 328:
And even with the friendships we make later in life, founded not on accidental association, but on a real community of tastes and interests, how seldom they last a lifetime, or anything like a lifetime! Destiny shuffles our partners for us; one friend or the other gets a different job, goes to live somewhere else; it may only mean changing from one suburb to another, but how easily we make an excuse of distance! More and more as we grow older, we find that the people we see most of are recent acquaintances, not (perhaps) very congenial to us, but chance has thrown them in our way. And meanwhile the people we used to know so well, for whom we once entertained such warm feelings, are now remembered by a card at Christmas, if we can succeed in finding the address. How good we are at making friends, when we are young; how bad at keeping them! How eagerly, as we grow older, we treasure up the friendships that are left to us, like beasts that creep together for warmth!

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