Inadequacy, hurt and reconciliation

Even with the best intentions, even with no malice inside us, even when we are faithful, we sometimes cannot not hurt each other. Our human situation is simply too complex at times for us not to wound each other. Here’s an example: Soren Kierkegaard, who spent his whole life trying to be scrupulously faithful to…

The little way

Most of us have heard of St Thérèse of Lisieux, a French mystic who died at age 24 in 1897 and who is perhaps the most popular saint of the last two centuries. She’s famous for many things, not least for a spirituality she called her ‘little way’.  What is her ‘little way’? Popular thought…

Proofs for the existence of God

Can anyone prove that God exists? Well, many have tried. Some of the greatest philosophers and intellectuals in history have tried to prove that God exists. One of the most famous of these was Thomas Aquinas who produced five different logical ‘proofs’. For example, this is the algebra of one of his arguments: imagine walking…

The best 10 books that found me in 2019

There’s a Latin axiom which argues that there’s no accounting for taste, de gustibus non est disputandum. I reference it as a preamble to my annual list of the 10 books I most enjoyed this past year because, admittedly, taste is somewhat subjective. I chose these particular books because they’re the ones that spoke most…

Prayer as keeping us out of group-think

In virtually all of his novels, Milan Kundera, manifests a strong impatience with every kind of ideology, hype, or fad that makes for group-think or crowd-hysteria. He is suspicious of slogans, demonstrations, and marches of all kinds, no matter the cause. He calls all these the great march and, to his mind, they invariably lead…

Justice and charity – revisited

We’re all familiar, I suspect, with the difference between justice and charity. Charity is giving away some of your time, energy, resources, and person so as to help to others in need. And that’s an admirable virtue, the sign of a good heart. Justice, on the other hand, is less about directly giving something away…

What constitutes fidelity?

It’s becoming increasing difficult in today’s world to trust anything or anybody, for good reason. There’s little that’s stable, safe to lean on, trustworthy. We live in a world where everything is in flux, is flux, where everywhere we see distrust, abandoned values, debunked creeds, people moving on from where they used to be, contradictory…

Saints for a new situation

Everywhere in Church circles today you hear a lament: our churches are emptying. We’ve lost our youth. This generation no longer knows or understands the classical theological language. We need to announce Jesus again, as if for the first time, but how? The church is becoming evermore marginalised. That’s the situation pretty much everywhere within…