Category Archives: Saints

To unify the scattered self

Here’s an essay on Hugh of St Victor by Brian FitzGerald.  A quote (but read the whole thing):

In his sermons, Hugh evoked the strong pull of distraction;he must have been particularly attuned to this weakness, looking upon the faces of students eager to keep up with the latest developments or to encounter the frenetic energies of Paris. Against such distractions, Hugh insists, we must learn to be with ourselves in a new way, to see again. To unify the scattered self and find rest for our restless hearts,he writes, you must build “the ark of your heart” out of your learning. This ark will carry you safely across the fluctuations of life or its disordered concatenations. The ark of our hearts touches the floodwaters; it must, for we are creatures in the world and we must encounter reality. But, it also floats above those waters, with its central pillar stretching up to the heavens. Looking out safely from the ark upon the waves, we can contemplate the world and engage with it lovingly.