Wednesday, January 2, 2008


The reverent person's approach to the world, asserts Dietrich von Hildebrand, one of the twentieth century's most eminent and, without doubt, its most underappreciated, philosopher, in a book he co-authored with his wife, Alice, The Art of Living, "is free from egospasm, from pride and concupiscence. He does not fill world with his own ego, but leaves to being the space which it needs in order to unfold itself. He understands the dignity and nobility of being as such, the value which it already possesses in its opposition to mere nothingness. Thus there is a value inherent in every stone, in a drop of water, in a blade of grass, precisely as being, as an entity which possesses its own being, which is such and not otherwise. In contradistinction to a fantasy or a sheer semblance, it is something independent of the person considering it, and is something withdrawn from his arbitrary will. Hence each of these things has the quite general value of existence" (pg. 6).

Virtue: a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.


  1. egospasm - now that's a great word. I know exactly what it means.

  2. I know, what a great word! I have at least one egospasm a week. I plan to use this word in a homily in the near future.

    I found this book, published as were many great titles, by the now defunct Franciscan Herald Press. I just gravitated to it. I had forgotten how powerful von Hildebrand's writing is. No wonder Pope Pius XII though him a modern father of the Church. Maybe he will be named a doctor someday.