As for the first, it wasn't that the Church had the truth of God bound up in handy and assimilable creedal statements (sure it did, but that wasn't so important to me) as much as it was the right philosophical school for knowledge of God. It's one things to look at the truth, it's quite something more to understand it and have it transform you. I still believe this and live my life accordingly. Thus, I am always a little cynical when I hear someone implying that all the Church's problems would be solved with good catechesis. Sure, that'd help, but not do more than help.
The problem is, someone like me will always be frustrated by what I would call 'Socrates' Problem.' The fact is, nobody but Socrates really cares about the truth like Socrates does. (I fell in love with philosophy via Plato, and so that's why I call it this.) No one will love the truth as deeply, consider it more imperative for action, consider it less a simple matter (ever consider it exhaustible).
Politics is all about thought-control today. It wasn't always this way. It used to be about money, simply. There were times when it was simply about pedigree. There were times when it used to be simply about martial valor. ISIS is living in the past by trying to return it to martial valor. Sure, they have more valor than Obama, but so too do most soccer moms.
You can't read an article without noticing that it's all about perception and control of ideas. The ultimate victory of Wynne and her ilk is to change education to favor her kind of ideology. In the US they fight over how American history is taught.
Even in the Church we obsess over education. I don't have a problem with this per se. What I have a problem with is the totalitarian framework we have adopted from secular society (who in turn got it from the Marxists, who in turn got it from the Enlightenment). Globalism, totalism, programs, policies. This mindset is not only an assault on communities, families and the individual, it is an assault on the Holy Spirit, who likes to work in the hearts of individuals.
Adopting this mindset is a knee-jerk reaction to the enemies of the Faith who think this way, both the secular ones and the heterodox ones.
Everyone thinks big and that is hubris in a nutshell.
"Let's get NFP taught in every parish."
"Let's get the Baltimore Catechism in every home."
"Let's have a statement on x, y, or z."
I started reading a book on the Ressourcement Movement last night and they thought this way too: "Let's return to the sources, everyone..." All my theological heroes of the 20th century were Ressourcement people, but they had their flaws too: there was almost an inevitability in its fulfillment in Vatican II's universalism. Thus, they deserved to be blamed for it bad effects too. Ratzinger, DeLubac, etc, discovered this a bit too late and they tried to reverse things, but it was too late for sober second thought.
We moderns don't have the humility for this.
So, here's what I'm saying: the Victorines are good enough for you; Augustine is good enough to me; Aquinas for him; Maximus for her; Newman, Faustina, Bonaventure, Theology of the Body, Ignatius, Carmel, ... all wonderful smatterings. None to the exclusion of the rest.
It is the ultimate sign of hubris, silliness, immaturity to reduce the mystery of life to one set formula. The Bible is very long for this reason. There are so many saints worth imitating for this reason. Butlers counts thousands.
Bear in mind, O you reducers of mystery, that I have forgotten more than you know of the Faith. I would take you model and multiply it by a hundred others, your private revelation and show it up fifty times.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
How wonderful there is!
Why did I call this post "The Dress as Epistemological Symbol"? I found in the last few days' obsession with that stupid picture of the dress a sad commentary on the depths of the modern person's thinking.