Western philosophy is nothing but a long footnote to Plato.
-Alfred North Whitehead
Plato understood that man and the city was ill, what they thought would bring Aeneid's philosopher king had failed. "'You mean he will in the city whose foundation we have now gone through, the one who has its place in speeches, since I don't suppose it exists anywhere one earth.' 'But in heaven,I said, 'perhaps a pattern is laid up for the man who wants to see and found a city within himself on the basis of what he sees.'"
Plato as an oracle of God? That's a new thought for me. God not only dealt with the road systems for the diaspora, but molded the intellectual acumen of the day, to be looking for a heavenly philosopher king.
God's providence is astounding. Of course, HE orchestrated all the events that prepared for the interjection of the true philosopher king, the Christ, in the perfect space of time.
Learning the history behind the City of God is a beautiful way to see God's providence. I am excited to listen in on my husband's lectures for his class. It is also, funny that City of God was on my read list, and now I might actually understand a bit of it. How fun is that. And how lovely - does this old hymn describe what we, the holy catholic church, have as our hope.
City of God, how broad and far
Outspread thy walls sublime!
The true thy chartered freemen are
Of every age and clime.
One holy Church, one army strong,
One steadfast high intent,
One working band, one harvest song,
One King omnipotent!
How Purely hath thy speech come down
From man’s primeval youth;
How grandly hath thine empire grown
Of freedom, love and truth!
How gleam thy watchfires through the night
With never-fainting ray!
How rise thy towers, serene and bright,
To meet the dawning day!
In vain the surge’s angry shock,
In vain the drifting sands:
Unharmed upon the eternal rock
The eternal city stands.
-Samuel Johnson, 1860
And since it's Monday, I have one thing I was particularly thankful for, I could see my breath as I sat on the front porch this evening. How great is that.