Abelard raised a very foolish question when he asked:  ‘What has Horace to do with the Psalter, Virgil with the Gospel, Cicero with the Apostle?’  The answer is simply that Horace, Virgil, and Cicero clarify the human situation to which the salvation of God is addressed through the Psalter, Gospel, and Apostle.”

Literature, then, serves to deepen and to extend human greatness through the nurture of beauty, understanding, and compassion.  In none of these ways, of course, can literature, unless it be the literature of the Christian faith, lead us to the City of God, but it may make our life in the city of man far more a thing of joy and meaning and humanity, and that in itself is no small achievement.  Great literature may not be a Jacob’s ladder by which we can climb to heaven, but it provides an invaluable staff with which to walk the earth.”