Portraits of Spiritual Nobility
Chivalry, Christendom, and Catholic Culture
In this refreshing volume of stories, homages, and reflections, Tracey Rowland—former Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, perceptive writer on Karol Wojtyła and Joseph Ratzinger, and an important theologian in her own right—shows us how the mysteries and morals of Catholicism can be translated into real-life models of spiritual nobility who respond to the demands of charity: “Fundamentally, chivalry is about people with strength and power using whatever gifts they have acquired from nature or education to help those weaker than themselves.” This, then, is the antithesis of the survival of the fittest.
Here we catch glimpses of the Faith permeating and elevating the lives of individuals in our day who “are not afraid to lead, not afraid to stand out from the crowd, who don’t put their own personal safety and comfort above their social responsibilities.” According to Rowland, we ought to focus more on goods of excellence than on goods of efficiency; on raising our fellows up to the heights instead of settling for the lowest common denominator. Without cultural and spiritual wealth, we are bankrupt, with nothing to offer the impoverished denizens of a world gutted of meaning. The Catholic Church will flourish again not by chasing after each passing fad in a desperate bid for relevance, but by developing anew the life-changing culture and education that was once her world-spanning beacon.