2. Feb, 2014

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By chance this morning I came across a quote by Pope Francis : ' Children in war, are the very wounds of Jesus; we must listen and recognise them, for Jesus is hidden in their wounds'. It is this very deep reality that the military and politicians refuse to recognise. Why? Because to do so, would be to cause them to radically re-assess their world views; cause them to start to reflect on the evil nature of power addiction and all its consequences. But wait a moment: these power hungry, one eyed monsters, are also ourselves. We cannot just project onto others, however justified, traits that we also almost certainly are carrying. As St.Thomas Aquinas pointed out,' Virtues arouse delight and quell sadness about what accords with virtue, but arouses sadness about what is at odds with virtue.' So at one big step, we have the opening to Happiness, namely, to each of us to husband and grow within us each of the cardinal virtues of Prudence /Wisdom; Justice; Fortitude; Temperance. As St.Augustine reminds us, these are founded on the 'orderedness of love'. Otherwise there would be a steely feel to their application. So, here we are in our little warm homes (hopefully!), and the question is , What can we DO? By sensing the presence of Jesus in the wounds of others and ourselves and applying the virtues in our reflections and our actions, this can be a bold first step. And what of President Assad of Syria you may ask. More than many, he has wounds that are of an indescribable nature. His unhappiness must be extreme, beneath the surface of political  dressage. Remembering that furnishes us with a framework for OUR work now. Thank you. Tom Baxter