Next Sunday is Septuagesima Sunday.
Until the reformers of the 1960s abolished it, Septuagesima had, for a millennium and a half at least, pointed the Latin Church to the Pentateuch, and its structural centrality to Christian understanding and to the living of the Christian life. (I have written before about the history of the Gesima texts, and I presume my pieces are available to newer readers through the Search Engine attached to this blog). A proper respect for the Pentateuch is something that would come more easily to Catholics if we all had a deeper inculturation into our Jewish roots. Sadly, the the 'reformers' of the 1960s weakened this rather than enhancing it.
So: Septuagesima and its week give us Eve, and Adam, and their Creation; and their Fall. Members of the Anglican Patrimony do not need (but perhaps some others do) a recommendation to read an imaginative piece of theological fiction by the great Anglican apologist Professor C S Lewis: his novel Voyage to Venus, alternatively known as Perelandra. It constitutes an exended meditation on the Fall and on the strategies of the Enemy.
This morning, I would like to offer you a few sentences which seem to me to be highly useful solvents of "The Enlightenment" and of its demonic errors. And just the sort of thing which we need before opening the Word of God at the beginning of Genesis and submitting ourselves to what we find there. [I have made one or two tiny syntactical adjustments.]
" ... the triple distinction of truth from myth and of both from fact is purely terrestrial - part and parcel of that unhappy division betweeen soul and body which resulted from the Fall. Even on Earth the sacraments exist as a permanent reminder that the division is neither wholesome nor final. The Incarnation was the beginning of its disappearance ... The whole distinction between things accidental and things designed, like the distinction between fact and myth, is purely terrestrial. The pattern is so large that within the little frame of earthly experience there appear pieces of it between which we can see no connection, and other pieces between which we can. Hence we rightly, for our use, distinguish the accidental from the essential. But step outside that frame and the distinction drops down into the void, fluttering useless wings."
(S John Paul remarked that, in God's Providence, there are no such things as coincidences.)