''The air blowing everywhere,serves all creatures'. In this seemingly simple statement by Hildegarde von Bingen (1098-1179), she addresses the physical,psychological and spiritual consequences of the gift of life. In the relative tsunami of media attention to the death of Nelson Mandela, we become aware of a mix of genuine feelings of remorse for the loss of a good person, but also a hyped up temporary and superficial reaction which like a firework will explode in the clouds. What does this show? Perhaps it indicates that there is a sense of existential emptiness in much of society. A vague sense that something more substantial is missing from our lives. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) picks up on Hildegarde, when he says,' there is an internal impediment to preserving the public good: the perversity of peoples' wills: their laziness in doing what the public weal requires; their harmfulness to the group's peace by their violations of justice.'
So we need to breath in deeply, taking courage to activate ourselves in what can be a hostile world, that often may not have the patience or understanding of spiritual values. These we can improve in ourselves by constant monitoring of our own thoughts and actions within the framework of the cardinal virtues: Prudence (Wisdom); Justice; Fortitude; Moderation. By carefully marshalling our own values, we can then begin to make a difference in what we see as a social attack on the Common Good. Thank you, Tom Baxter