Among some bleak translations and mistranslations of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the late 20th century, particularly poor was the use of "Happy are they . . . " in place of "Blessed . . . " for Christ’s glorious words in Matthew 5:3-11. "Happy" with its connotations of random good luck as in "perhaps" is no substitute for the beauty and beneficence of "Blessed" ...
Dear Madam Editor,
Thank you for the very kind review of my book; I appreciate that.
I was a little surprised that Fr MacKenzie thinks that I divide reality into the (physically) value-less and the (spiritual) valued. I did not mean to convey that impression, but I have clearly done so! My actual view, as an Idealist, is that material or physical things are the expressions of spiritual reality, so I do not want to make an absolute gap between the two. I do think that cognising and valuing are intertwined, but I suppose they are abstractly distinguishable.
"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" According to Robin Goodfellow – Shakespeare’s fairy narrator – human behavior appears foolish from the outside looking in. The lovers of A Midsummer Night’s Dream chase after one another, each driven by their own desire, trying to have it align with another’s. As Shakespeare says elsewhere, "Love is blind." Love of this sort seems self-absorbed, random and uncertain. And unlike our plays, our lives often don’t end "happily ever after." But on the other hand, who of us can’t relate to this desire? We too are thirsty for connection, affirmation, and purpose.
Achieving a deeper understanding the human person is becoming increasingly important in a culture that no longer recognises the inviolable dignity of every human being. Understanding the objective good that the human person is, through better understanding what the human person is—through his essential definition—we are better capacitated to act rightly in all our dealings with the human person, and so and so accord him his full and proper dignity.
Recently a trio of Elders knocked on my door. They were very young Elders, but poised and smartly dressed. Remembering the warm hospitality that I received in Salt Lake City last October, I invited them in.
We often speak as though it is only marooned Catholics who fight the full defence of chastity in the modern world, but this is not the case. The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is exemplary in promoting family values. Without them, the international fight for life and family would be a lot poorer.
It was at university that I was drawn to the work of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an ecumenical Christian charity working for religious freedom for all. The CSW motto is: "Pray, Protest, Provide".
My first foray into all this was in 1994 when, as a student, I travelled with Baroness Cox to the Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh. The war-torn enclave had been decimated by conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the early 1990s. Nagorno Karabakh had historically been part of ancient Armenia, but Stalin changed the boundaries in 1921, moving the territory into Azerbaijan. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, ethnic and territorial conflict erupted. Baroness Cox became a champion of the suffering Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, travelling at the height of the war to bring humanitarian aid, and to document the atrocities and provide a voice in the outside world. She slept in bomb shelters and counted the grad rockets as they fell.
Wide green lawns, a large central chapel, hordes of young people hurrying down the corridors, a library with people silent at computers, a chattering refectory . . . and Francis Campbell walking with a greeting for everyone and an easy style as he collects a cup of coffee and settles for a chat.
It is said by some that the religion of the greatest sages of the East transcends, in its contemplative vision of God, the tradition of the Hebrews, at least until the writing of the ‘Wisdom’ literature some two hundred years or less before the birth of Christ. There seems no reason to concede this point.
‘I have read God or Nothing with great spiritual profit, joy and gratitude . . . All that you have written regarding the centrality of God, the celebration of the liturgy, the moral life of Christians is especially relevant and profound.’ Not the opinion of your humble reviewer, but the words of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. With such an accolade, we appreciate that this is no ordinary work.
Gianluigi Nuzzi and fellow journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi went on trial before three judges in the Vatican criminal court. They were not accused of falsifying facts, which the Vatican has not denied, but of "illicit behaviour in obtaining information and organized criminal association." This goes a long way to explain Pope Francis’ singularly blunt attacks on the Curia. The court eventually ruled that it had no jurisdiction over them since they were not citizens of the Vatican City.
I have a problem with conversion stories. I have read hundreds of them and enjoyed the stories of the journeys and paths people take to find meaning and reality. The problems I have are twofold. The first problem is that being a bit of an inveterate researcher