Meditating on death is not morbid but freeing

The View Funeral after funeral. That is how this summer has been for me — sudden deaths, accidents, and deaths that were a long time in coming but shocking, nonetheless. There were funerals of young people or young at heart people, interspersed with anniversary masses. Oddly, perhaps the most difficult funeral was the one I…

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You cannot wish your way into virtue

The View Long ago in a different century, I was a member of a college drama society. One of the plays we put on was a Thornton Wilder piece called Our Town. In the course of that play (spoiler alert) there is an unashamed tear-jerker moment. Emily, a 26-year-old who has died, is allowed to…

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Give up gossip and apply the golden rule

The View Pope Francis hates it. Thomas Aquinas dedicated a section of the Summa Theologica to it, analysing all the different ways we can indulge in it. Robin Dunbar, the primatologist and anthropologist, judged it to be “the core of human social relationships, indeed of society itself. Without [it], there would be no society”. We…

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Expressing our faith by welcoming refugees

The View At Mass on Sunday, the priest mentioned that we should be praying for Ukrainians but also for the Russian people. A young boy reacted immediately, asking his mother and grandmother in a loud whisper, “why should we pray for the Russians?” What a great question. Given the ongoing murderous assault on Ukraine, which…

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We need to invite people back to Mass

The View In recent times, three friends have all told me about people they know who have not been back to Mass in church. They continue to watch online. My friends were both surprised and worried because the people they mentioned were regular Massgoers before the pandemic. Nor had any of the people health concerns…