Today is the Obit of one of the greatest theologians of the twentieth century, Eric Lionel Mascall. I included his name, with immense gratitude to him and to the Lord who gave him to us, in the Memento etiam of the Mass of S Valentine this morning; thinking as I did so of the that familiar figure, back in the Sixties, murmuring this same 'Western Rite'* Mass privately, day by day, at one of the altars in 'Mags'. He possessed the same clarity of thought and the same willingness to think outside the dominant fashions of his day, as another shy and distinguished Teacher of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. A Man of the Great Tradition.
*Thus we used then to describe what our new friends so fittingly call 'the Mass of Ages'.
14 February 2019
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Dear Father. You will like this post about Newman by another Priest convert:
Fr. Rutler wrote a recollection
I owe my faith, at least humanly speaking, to Dr. Mascall. I was the son of an Anglican priest, became a convinced atheist in my early teens. My father, God love him, could not answer my objections. I was enthralled with all the stupidity of the times, Marxism and dialectical waywardness. But on a visit home I found a book in my father's library, He Who Is. My first impression of this book was not being overpowered by Mascal's /St. Thomas' arguments but simply seeing that it was possible to discuss God intelligently. This was the first step to the Catholic Church. May he rest in peace. The school boy's idea of infinity as the highest number you can think of plus one. If I remember the point correctly.
Dr Mascall ought to be remembered as a priest of deep spirituality as well as as a considerable theologian. Dr M was assistant curate to my late and much missed friend Donald during the latter's time at St Mary's, Graham Street (the other asst. being Archdeacon of the Arctic, or some such). He gave Donald a copy of his 'little book' on the 'Ascent of Mount Carmel', which Donald was kind enough to pass on to me. Typically 'Thomist' in style, it was a most useful and insightful analysis of the teaching of St John of the Cross - and suggested that Dr M knew, on his own account, what the life of prayer was all about. Those were indeed the days when there were giants in the land...
Eric Mascall's British Academy obituary, by his King's colleague the late Huw Owen (1994).
Do you have a bibliographic reference for the book
I would be interested to read it
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