moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals

For gentleness requires, as Reimlers observes, that we learn to see that “the other person is ‘given’ to us in the sense that, prior to rules and principles of social morality, the presence of the other in our lives constitutes our responsibility. Moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange betweenContinue reading “moral responsibility arises neither from contractual relationships nor from the cooperative exchange between independent individuals”

On Life and Motherhood

Life (that is the quality of being alive) is so easily seen in all aspects of creation, and this kind of seeing may be far more reliable than we know. Rocks and landscapes live lives of great loveliness, depth, and mystery. After all, the Spirit, the Giver of Life, broods over all that “is not”Continue reading “On Life and Motherhood”

I give you your faults

“You will need help,” she told them, “but all I am allowed to give you is a little talisman. …Meg, I give you your faults.” “My faults!” Meg cried. “Your faults.” “But I’m always trying to get rid of my faults!” “Yes,” Mrs. Whatsit said. “However, I think you’ll find they’ll come in very handy….”Continue reading “I give you your faults”

I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill

Excerpted from a 1903 article by G.K. Chesterton in Black and White called “My Experiences with Santa Claus” (reprinted in the London Tablet in 1974): What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa ClausContinue reading “I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill”

celebrants of the sacrament of life

This is the first meaning of our bringing to the altar the elements of our food. For we already know that food is life, that it is the very principle of life and that the whole world has been created as food for man. We also know that to offer this food, this world, thisContinue reading “celebrants of the sacrament of life”

God sends good gifts and blessings in sleep

Sleeplessness and the incapacity for leisure are really related to one another in a special sense, and a man at leisure is not unlike a man asleep. …Or as the Book of Job says, “God giveth songs in the night” (Job xxxv, 10). Moreover, it has always been a pious belief that God sends goodContinue reading “God sends good gifts and blessings in sleep”

in the beginning there is always a gift

The tendency to overvalue hard work and the effort of doing something difficult is so deep-rooted that it even infects our notion of love. Why should it be that the average Christian regards loving one’s enemy as the most exalted form of love? Principally because it offers an example of a natural bent heroically curbed;Continue reading “in the beginning there is always a gift”