At the risk of coming across as self-indulgent, I wanted to take a moment to expand on why I go by the name Codgitator, and how that shapes this blog.
Almost eight years ago to this day, Dave Armstrong bestowed upon me the name “Cogitator,” and three days later, as in some bowdlerized Passion Play, I rose to embrace the name for myself. Perhaps a couple years later, I tweaked the name from “The Cogitator” into “Codgitator (Cadgertator). The reason is simple: I am a philosopher, but not all philosophers are cut from the same cloth. I’m more of a David Stove or Stanley Jaki man, than an Etienne Gilson or a Josef Pieper man, as far as temperament and style go. All the same, my ideal “voice” is to be as sagacious, concise, charitable, knowledgeable, and witty as the late great James Ross.
Ach, but you’ve caught me reminiscing.
The following was my email signature for a few years (from the mid-to-end of college, when I was a Calvinist, and then in my first years after becoming Catholic):
“For what ought be more attractive to us sick men, than grace, grace by which we are healed; for us lazy men, than grace, grace by which we are stirred up; for us men longing to act, than grace, by which we are helped?” — St. Augustine
When I was becoming Catholic, I was a bit quotation-happy. If someone said Augustine or Chesterton said it, then Augustine or Chesterton said it. It was only years later, while trying to ascertain where I’d gotten such a quotation, that I wrote to the folllowing (from a Facebook thread):
And holy cow, here’s a major blast from the past!!! – http://stmaryvalleybloom.org/exploringcatholic.html – My first foray into would-be-Catholic dialogue. I can only hope that my writing is not quite as knotty and teeming as it was then. 😉
α1) All right, I finally found a proper citation for that quotation: Letters of St. Augustine 156–210 (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2004), trans./ed. Roland J. Teske, S.J., “Letter 186”, p. 228:
“For what ought to be more pleasing to the sick than the grace by which they are healed or more pleasing to the sluggish than the grace by which they are roused or more pleasing to the willing than the grace by which they are helped?”
β1) I did, however, find the exact translation I had used on page 146 in John Leith’s From Generation to Generation, although he cites Letter 157 as the source.
γ1) Surely, though, my source was Peter Brown’s Augustine of Hippo (p. 356), and he correctly cites it as coming from Ep. 186, xii, 39.