The restlessness, the speed

"We must maintain a 'collected' mode of life. . . . If, indeed, we conduct a bustling and fitful sort of life with one aim chasing the other, involving a breathless succession of disparate tensions--a sort of life which never gives us time to pause and to meditate, nor allows any possibility of a contemplative attention to God--we shall be exposed to incessant derangements of our peace.  How could we, amidst the turmoil of such a life, develop the habit of confronting everything with God and of thus subjecting all our single preoccupations to an intrinsic order?  How could we dwell in the depths of reality and the realm of eternal values; how find ourselves?  On the contrary, pushed about and unduly possessed by our rapidly alternating tasks (all of which carry in them the impetus of urgency), we are at the mercy of the autonomous mechanism of each in turn.  In our constant attention to present and fugitive actuality, even should the matter in hand be ever so profound and important in itself, we are hopelessly incapable of setting ourselves, in conspectu Dei, at a distance from all things, including our own ego.  Yet, this distance, as has been shown, forms an indispensable prerequisite for the neutralization of any kind of depression and excitement.  Even aside from this, a hyper-active and one-sidedly pragmatic rhythm of life--in which contemplation is doomed to wither--involves as such, in a general sense, a certain formal lack of peace.  The restlessness, the speed, the nervous fatigue inherent in such a mode of life, the feverish rhythm of work and the bondage to the imperative of 'doing' that are inseparable from it, inevitably plunge man into a state of peacelessness. . . . True peace is inseparable from recollection."
--Dietrich von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ (New York:  Longmans, Green & Co., 1948), 313.



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