“In one short phrase: We are being flooded with matter about which nobody gives a damn. But the really frightening part is that the attitude begins to rub off. No home can be built without that love of detail which is the hallmark of care, yet we seem to be getting less and less able to bother. People cannot be fed without detail, children cannot be taught manners without detail, wives cannot be kept happy without detail. But in our superspirituality, we expect that a handful of good intentions and a headful of bright ideas are quite enough to make a home. The truth is, though, that matter will break us unless we love it for itself and start paying some very careful attention to its demands. We are not angels; there are not disembodied intelligences in my household. We are all things here, from the raisins in the cake to the father at his table. For the likes of us there is no middle ground between care and catastrophe.” – Robert Farron Capon, Bed and Board.
“The goal of all Christian self-denial is the restoration, not the destruction, of nature; the removal, not of matter, but of perversion…. [The saint] is emphatically not trying to cease caring about matter. He is not in the business of stripping off a useless cocoon in order that the beautiful butterfly of his real self can fly free. The Christian religion is not about the soul; it is about man, body and all, and about the world of things with which he was created, and in which he is redeemed. Don’t knock materiality. God invented it.
Matter is actually more of a help than a hindrance to spirit. A soul without a body is a ghost; the traditional notion of ghosts as poor, lonely, helpless beings is sound. Without my body I am only half a man. Nor does Christ himself seem to spend much time complaining about materiality. He seems, in fact, to have enjoyed it. His reputation as a glutton and winebibber, undeserved though it undoubtedly was, must have had some foundation in fact. He seemed to care and he seems to intend that we should care too. It’s not only that our lives inevitably will be involved with matter, but that they ought to be. Adam is made in the image of God. If God made things because he liked them, God’s image should not be surprised to find that, in his own proportion, he likes them too. Adam is the priest of creation. His truest work is to offer up reality itself, not just a headful of abstractions about it. Only the perversions of matter can be wrong. Things, as such, are never bad; they are not even indifferent. They are positively good. Let a man just once really face fish or fowl, bread or wine, shoelace or gummed label, and he will know he has by no means lowered himself. In ligting them up, he himself grows taller.”
– Robert Farror Capon, Bed and Board.
“People admit it’s hard to pray. Yet they think it’s easy to make love. What nonsense. Neither is worth much when it is only the outcropping of intermittent enthusiasm. Both need to be done without ceasing; and that puts a premium on the minor manifestations. Obviously the sexual act itself is central. But the circle that is drawn around it consists of a thousand small passes and light touches. What they lack in moment they more than make up for by sheer weight of numbers, and it is a poor bed that sees only the grand piece of business that really arrives. It is precisely the unconsummated nonsense that makes the main absurdity fruitful. Sexual intercourse is indeed society (though often not too mutual), and it is certainly a comfort, when it goes well; but it is seldom much help unless its disastrousness is softened by a vast amount of incidental tenderness.” – Robert Farrar Capon, Bed and Board .