A philosopher’s great advice: ‘Don’t worry’
Last week the distinguished philosopher Germain Grisez died, prompting many tributes for his academic work, his popular writings on the spiritual life, and his decades-long defence of Church teaching on contraception. A different obituary came from his friend Ellie at meandmy house10.blogspot.co.uk. She knew Grisez as a fellow daily Mass-goer, and it was many years before she discovered his literary and philosophical output. Ellie “felt like I had just stumbled upon a spiritual gold mine. I kept stopping to ponder that I had seen him in church every day for so long, yet had never known what was there, below the surface.”
Grisez was a kind, patient and humble friend. He also gave good advice. “If I got stuck on some troublesome question arising within the Church, as seems so often to [happen] today, he’d say: ‘Don’t worry Ellie, that’s not necessary for you to worry about, God hasn’t given you that problem to work on so you just focus on what he’s asked of you.’ ”
Grisez’s approach was a little diffident, and his manner was “slow and deliberate”. But that helped to explain his impact. “He was the quintessential tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story. His slow and steady progress on any work he took on, wound up becoming an avalanche of truth that benefitted the mystical body of Christ. His thinking will shape the Church for years to come.”
A plea for charity in online debates
At Dominus Mihi Adjutor, Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman made a plea for charity in debate. Online comment sections, he said, sometimes display “a less attractive side to debate and argument. No doubt most of these commenters are decent people of faith, capable of high emotion in defence of the Church and its faith and worship, and brave enough to stand up and be counted for it”. But there was a risk of “indiscretion”.
Those who disagree with us “may well have been formed” in a time of theological error, “its propaganda omnipresent and ceaseless. Years and years of that require a lot of undoing.” So “We must not bludgeon those who cannot see what we see; we must gently guide to them the truth we see, and win them over not only by clarity of argument but also by force of charity.”
Poetry that sang of God’s creation
At Catholic World Report, James Matthew Wilson reflected on the late poet Richard Wilbur. Though not a Catholic, Wilbur had a “Catholic vision of the poet”, Wilson suggested, “as one whose task is not to commune with and transcend the natural order or to create a world of imagination, but rather to represent created being in all its depth and to summon us all by way of the altar of metaphor to the great sacrament of the world”.
In one poem, “Mayflies”, Wilbur wrote of the insects’s dance as a symbol of the cosmos, and concluded that his poetic “task” was “joyfully to see / How fair the fiats of the caller are”.
✣ Mel Gibson’s sequel to The Passion of the Christ will be the “biggest film in history”, Jim Caviezel has said.
The actor’s agent has confirmed that he will reprise his role as Jesus in the planned film about the Resurrection. “There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience,” Caviezel said.
So far, Gibson has been tight-lipped about the film. “I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it,” Caviezel told USA Today. “But I’ll tell you this much, the film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”
The Passion of the Christ was released in 2004 and earned nearly $611 million worldwide.It recounted the story of Christ’s death, from the agony in the garden of Gethsemane to his burial in the tomb.
In 2016 Gibson spoke of his plans for a sequel. “We’re trying to craft this in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening so that it shines new light, if possible, without creating some weird thing,” he said.
Caviezel said that Gibson was finally at a point where he felt ready to start shooting. “Braveheart, that’s a film that took a long time to be able to crack,” he said. “The same thing for Passion. And the same thing for this. He’s finally got it.”
✣The week in quotations
Women are right to be angry when men treat them like objects Archbishop Charles Chaput Speech at men’s conference in Phoenix
[This letter] brings to an end his ‘zero tolerance’rhetoric Abuse survivors group Laicos de Osorno on Pope Francis Associated Press
Every day more weapons are made, more laws against life are passed Pope Francis Angelus address
Usury humiliates and kills Pope Francis CNS
✣Statistic of the week
43 Number of deacons ordained at one Mass in Brownsville, Texas Source: Diocesan website
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