just one breath away

Some years ago I was introduced to a small book with a rather odd title: The Great Divorce. Written by the marvelous English author C. S. Lewis, it is an extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment; a beautifully woven allegorical tale of a bus ride from hell to heaven.

In the preface, Lewis begins with mention of William Blake’s book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and thus explains his own rather odd title.

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the virtue of poverty

What ought we to think of poverty? The common vision of it fails to lead to understanding for as with so much of what we perceive these days to be true what rolls off the tongue is too often unrelated to reality.

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a voice of one crying in the desert

Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 24, appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Conakry in December 1979 at the age of 34, the youngest ever elevated to the Episcopacy. Pope Saint John Paul II at the end of his three day visit to Guinea in 2001 appointed him Secretary for the Evangelization of Peoples. Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Cardinal in 2010.

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is the same as not to see

Areader recently took me to task for not delivering on a promise to complete recently took me to task for not delivering on a promise to complete the discussion concerning the conquest of Nature and C. S. Lewis’ prophetic warning of the dangers such conquests will inevitably bring. To that reader I must offer my sincere gratitude for reminding me of that promise for I confess it had slipped my mind.

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in the face of evil

Seldom I believe have I written quite so prophetically as I did last week, most assuredly without any such intention on my part. A young man of relatively close acquaintance took exception to comments I made elsewhere supporting the opinions expressed by the Reverend Franklin Graham concerning the current administration’s order for all schools across the country to allow students to choose the restrooms and locker rooms according to “their internal sense of gender.”

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a fondness for argument

Socrates taught of a restless mind, a mind so restless that it would question and examine the self, thus laying the foundation for scientific and spiritual advancement. Saint Augustine went further saying, “If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.”

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Who is in control?

Clotho, the youngest of the Three Fates in ancient Greek mythology, was responsible for spinning the thread of human life which included deciding when and who was born and when and who would die, thus controlling people’s lives.

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belief follows action

What motivates us is often hidden deep within, so deep at times we find it difficult to know even for ourselves why we harbor certain desires, enjoy various activities, believe what we believe, or choose all manner of things that are oftentimes completely at odds with what others might choose. As much as we share in common the more we wish to differ.

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How high will you climb?

Before Augustine became a priest, bishop, Church Doctor, and saint he was a pagan, heretic, thief, and according to his own confessions, a profligate scoundrel. At seventeen he fathered a son Adeodatus out of wedlock by a woman with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

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read carefully before you leap

Anyone who has lived for any significant amount of time can recall a time when someone they knew—or even their self –forgot to look before they leaped; a notion we often describe as jumping to conclusions, or to use a more legalistic phrase, assuming facts not in evidence. An amusing urban legend describes what can happen when we jump to conclusions:

A young woman was driving to her son’s school to watch him do a ‘show and tell’. Her son was to speak about his pet gerbil which unfortunately he had left at home that morning, thus explaining the box containing the gerbil beside her. When she made a sudden stop, the box tipped over, the gerbil escaped and began to crawl up her pant leg. Panicked, the woman got out of the car and proceeded to jump up and down, shaking her leg in order to dislodge the gerbil. A passerby, thinking the woman was having a seizure wrapped his arms around her to calm her down. Another passerby seeing the struggle believed that an assault was occurring, rushed up and began to pummel the assailant. Then the police arrived…

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