Learning to Behold (Part Two)
Why you should watch old movies
For some years now I have been saying that we cannot allow the television, or the movie screen, or, God forbid, the leaking sewer of popular novels to form our imaginations. Nor do I retract it. My point was and still is that the prime fashioner of our metaphysical and moral imagination – the faculty whereby we recognize the beauty of what is, and the goodness of what ought to be done – should be our faith. When we enter a church, when we open the Scriptures, when we pray on our knees, when we sing true hymns, we should be compassed round with a great cloud of beauty. We should be born in wonder.
But we don't linger in church all day long. We have to work, study, play, keep house, cook meals, love our spouses, raise our children, and enjoy the company of our friends. In times past, we might show up with our neighbors at the local playhouse, to watch a comedy routine, or a magic act, or a local repertory company staging Aida, or a traveling troupe of actors performing The Merry Wives of…
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