"Hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage.Come Lord, rouse and recall us, fire and seize us, be fragrant, grow sweet; let us love, let us run." (St.Augustine.387-430 A.D.) Here Augustine lays down a framework for action that would centuries later be addressed by Thomas Aquinas, with his truly remarkable works on the psychology of the human, in the fullest sense of the word. Augustine though is firing up the energy of our spirits, by reminding us that actually we cannot do things entirely by ourselves, that we all have deficiencies of varying kinds, but also great potential to change. To what? you may ask. Well the whole tenor of Augustine's work and also Aquinas' is of course referencing the divine in us. We are as a genus, too restricted intellectually, emotionally and physically to totally eliminate life's problems. It is so surprising that atheists and agnostics too , do not come to this simple and rational conclusion. Many of us have had our awareness of a higher reality, diluted, even poisoned, by our lack or reflection on the true path to happiness, whether intellectual or emotional. "Our spirits when afraid, sink down from the heart producing silent trembling. Boldness created by hope, confronts the fear in order to win the battle. With Anger, there is a recognition through reason, of the injury done, and what will count as satisfaction for it. But note, anger is more inclined to mercy, than hatred." (Aquinas) As we contemplate these quotations from these two philosophers, we can, hopefully, feel our reason and our spirit joining up to make a difference, somewhere, somehow.
Thank you, Tom Baxter