Love, not excuses, moves things forward

The excusable doesn’t need to be excused and the inexcusable cannot be excused. Michael Buckley wrote those words commenting on St Peter’s triple betrayal of Jesus. Here’s the context. Peter had betrayed Jesus in his most needy hour, not out of malice, simply out of weakness. Now, facing Jesus for the first time since that…

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Managing an ascension not a death

A friend of mine, somewhat cynical about the Church, recently remarked: “What the institutional Church today is trying to do is to put its best face on the fact that it’s dying. Basically, it’s trying to manage a death.” What he’s suggesting is that the Church today, like a person struggling to accept a terminal…

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Fear of missing out

It’s hard for a child to have to go to bed in the middle of an evening when the rest of the family is still celebrating. Nobody wants to go to bed while everyone else is still up. No one wants to miss out on life. Remember how as a child, tired and unable to…

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Show me a selfish person who is truly happy

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once said something to the effect that we reach moral maturity on the day we realise that, ultimately, we have to choose: genuflect before something higher than ourselves or begin to self-destruct! Simone Weil had a similar idea. She consistently affirmed that our deepest longing was to find someone or something…

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The secret hidden from the amoral

According to the Bible, there’s a secret that’s hidden from the amoral, known only by the virtuous. The Book of Wisdom tells us that when we are not virtuous “we do not know the hidden counsels of God, nor do we grasp the recompense of holiness, nor discern the innocent soul’s reward.” How true! How…

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The therapy of a public life

Forty years ago, Philip Rieff wrote a book entitled The Triumph of the Therapeutic. In essence, he argued that today in the Western world so many people need psychological therapy mainly because our family structure has grown weak and many community structures have broken down. He contends that in societies where there are still strong…

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