scalia (3)

Antonin Scalia, On Faith: Lessons from an American Believer

Perhaps the best lesson I ever learned here at George­town occurred during my oral comprehensive exami­nation in my major (history) at the end of my senior year. My history professor was Dr. Wilkinson, a prince of a man. He was the chairman of the three-professor panel that examined me. And I did, if I may say so myself, a smashingly good job. As the time for the ex­amination was almost at hand, Dr. Wilkinson asked me one last question, which seemed to me a softball. Of all the historical events you have studied, he said, which one in your opinion had the most impact upon the world? How could I possibly get this wrong? There was obviously no single correct answer. The only issue was what good answer I should choose. The French Rev­olution perhaps? Or the Battle of Thermopylae—or of Lepanto? Or the American Revolution? I forget what I picked, because it was all driven out of my mind when Dr. Wilkinson informed me of the right answer—or at least the right answer if I really believed what he and I thought I believed. Of course it was the Incarnation. Point taken. You must keep everything in perspective, and not run your spiritual life and your worldly life as though they are two separate operations. (pp. 57, 58)