Speaking with authority

We are growing ever more distrustful of words. Everywhere we hear people say: “That’s just talk! That’s nothing but empty words!” Empty words are all around us. Our world is full of lies, of false promises, of glittering advertising that doesn’t deliver, of words never backed up by anything. We trust less and less in…

Click here to subscribe

On hallowing our diminishments

Thirty years ago, John Jungblut wrote a short pamphlet entitled, On Hallowing Our Diminishments. It’s a treatise suggesting ways we might frame the humiliations and diminishments that beset us through circumstance, age and accidents so that, despite the humiliation they bring, we can place them under a certain canopy so as to take away their…

On self-hatred and guilt

Recently on the popular US television program Saturday Night Live, a comedian made a rather colourful wisecrack in response to an answer that Nancy Pelosi had given to a journalist who had accused her of hating the President. Pelosi had stated that, as a Roman Catholic, she hates no one – and this prompted the…

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…