Why courage can’t be put off till tomorrow
At the Irish Rover, Deion A Kathawa argued that our “cultural sickness” is closely connected to the problem of cowardice. University students, for instance, avoid standing up for their beliefs, saying that they are “‘keeping a low profile’ until they attain a position of influence and prestige”. The trouble is that morality is about good habits. So “one must, throughout the whole of one’s life, repeatedly act courageously in order to really be courageous”.
We overestimate the risks of speaking out, Kathawa wrote. “A misplaced, shadowy fear of cripplingly horrible outcomes keeps us on the sidelines, to the detriment of our own flourishing and the common good.” The Lord reminds us that we have nothing to fear, saying: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
The delayed vocation of a naval officer
For the Vatican’s news website, Cesare Lodeserto interviewed a priest with an unusual story. Victor Pogrebnii grew up in the disputed territory of Transnistria, and dreamed of being a priest until he was conscripted into the Soviet Navy. He rose through the ranks, and kept the faith – but he had to worship in secret, and was interrogated after a copy of the Gospels was found in his possessions.
In 2008, Pogrebnii’s wife died and it was time to reflect on his future. The call to the seminary, he realised, was still there. So he applied – and in 2012, at the age of 66, was ordained. If we are to live a true life of faith, he concludes, we must allow ourselves to be “surprised by the Lord”. “I would never have thought I could become a priest,” he said.
A guide to seeing through psychics
In the National Catholic Register, the stage magician Angelo Stagnaro observed that the Church “has always denounced psychics and fortune-telling”. But aside from “the sin of subscribing to these people”, there are also many reasons to be sceptical about their clams.
For instance, not one of “the many hundreds of thousands of so-called ‘psychics’ around the world” managed to predict the September 11 attacks – or many natural disasters, oil spills and so on. It suggests that they are frauds, Stagnaro wrote.
It’s always worth checking the claimed credentials of “psychics”, Stagnaro wrote; they will often claim to have helped police and law enforcement – but be unable to name the individual officers they assisted.
The choice is clear, Stagnaro wrote. “Either you can believe a 2,000-year-old community founded by God Himself which he created to bring all souls to him for eternity and which has produced hundreds of millions of saints over the course of two millennia and that has given more money and goods to the poor than any other institution, religion, philosophy, nation, etc., and which charges no money for its teachings or blessings – or you can believe somebody who charges $800 to tell you that your grandfather forgave you before he died.”
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