Twenty-five years ago, I wrote a column entitled, Guidelines for the Long Haul. Revisiting it recently, I was encouraged that my principles haven't swayed during the past quarter-century, only taken on more nuance. I still recommend those same commandments, nostalgically revisited, somewhat redacted, but fully re-endorsed:
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We live in a highly secularized culture. Generally this draws one of three reactions from Christians struggling to live out faith in this context: First, a growing number of Christians of all denominations see secularity more as an enemy of faith and the churches than as an ally.
When Mrs Thatcher came to power I was a local politician, a member of Sheffield City Council. David Blunkett became leader and I was his deputy and chair of the finance committee. It was a bleak time for northern cities like Sheffield. On the one hand, the economic base of the city was collapsing.
Right opposite Harrods last Saturday, an old woman sat on the pavement moaning for money. In her many tattered layers and hoods, she looked like a big, swaddled baby. Click, click, click went the heels around her. Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols bags swept past her face and nobody could be bothered to stop, take out a coin, bend down and hand it to her. By now someone will have swept her off that space – such an eyesore for tourists.
The symbol of the Cross is ubiquitous in our society. It is printed on bumper stickers and tattooed on forearms; it is spray-painted on concrete walls and stitched onto denim jackets. Will this symbol continue to devolve into a mere fashion statement, a cultural icon, or a religious trademark? There is a need to reclaim the true meaning of the cross and understand that it is something much more
The outpouring of public grief over the death of Diana Princess of Wales marked the moment England returned to its Roman Catholic roots almost 500 years after the reformation, according to the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, 70, began the spiritual reflections Feb. 17 by describing Pope Benedict’s future role in the Church after his resignation as being a presence “like that of Moses, who climbs the hill to pray for the people of Israel.”
Perhaps God is mature enough to not ask for, or want, our conscious attention most of the time. Perhaps God wants us to enjoy our time here, to enjoy the experience of love and friendship, of family and friends, of eating and drinking, and of (at least occasionally) seeing our favorite teams win a championship.
A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible. The Legislature might just as well repeal the law of gravity.”
In celebrating the lives of her saints, rarely does the Church bestow more than one feast day on the same person. Even more rarely does she celebrate specific events in the lives of those saints other than the day of their birth into eternal life (the die natale). Therefore, today's celebration – the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle – is one that deserves our contemplation.
I praised God for the Church’s lookout for the uns — the un-documented, un-employed, un-housed, un-fed, un-healthy, un-born, un-wanted, misunderstood, un-justly treated — and prayed that our beloved country might work for a culture where that dreaded prefix — un — might be no longer.
We are no longer the voice of a presumed majority, but rather the voice of one minority among many. Our right to practise what we believe is, understandably, being weighed up against the rights of those who don’t agree with us – with a slight bias towards the latter. It’s Christianity versus modernity, and modernity is winning.
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 to violence, all of them.