Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Language that Rose from the Dead

by Fr. Randall Paine

"A language must die to be immortal"

When it comes to expressing the eternal and immutable truths of the Christian faith, the only good language is a dead language.

Chesterton once made a disarming retort to the customary detraction of Latin as a "dead" language. He simply remarked that to say this is not a detraction at all, for quite in contrast to the detractor's intentions, it throws into profile the clear ascendancy of Latin over all the "living" languages of today. "It is the question of a dead language and a dying language. Every living language is a dying language, even if it does not die. Parts of it are perpetually perishing or changing their sense; there is only one escape from that flux; and a language must die to be immortal."

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