15. Sep, 2014

SEARCHING FOR MAGNETIC NORTH

'The Christian is the one who watches for Christ' (Cardinal Newman). This simple statement of our individual identity, is of particular relevance in these times. We have enormous waves of disturbance and cruelty in the world, and Cardinal Newman is emphasising not only holistically our range of responsibilies in coping with these issues, but also imaging the importance of prayer. Searching for meaning and therefore direction of route, is always a difficult task on our life journeys. This is especially so, when the darkness of evil as evidenced by the actions of Isis in the Middle East, are concerned. ' The intellect and the will have no limit fixed in their actions.' The good of natural aptitude may be diminished indefinitely by moral evil, yet it will never be entirely destroyed, and will always accompany the nature that remains.' (St.Thomas Aquinas). Aquinas is re-stating that good always eventually triumphs over evil. But, we can so diminish our own good, that we can, with knowledge of the ends, voluntarily do evil. If that then becomes a habit, we become imprisoned internally. As a habit is a process, a conversation if you like, between good and evil in this case, the agent requires knowledge to apply his will to act one way or the other. It is deficiencies in knowledge (education in its widest sense), which orientate the actions incorrectly. A terrorist is in essence, still a human being, yet severely diminished by his habits. Of course justice demands recompense and state law has the right to intervene as appropiate. This is to be understood as a punishment that subjects offenders to something contrary to their wills, for they have been untrammelled in their activities. But as always, it has to be proportionate otherwise those rightly punishing, can fall into the same trap of the descent to darkness as did the terrorists.

' We may not be blissfully saved until we are truly in peace and in love, for that is our salvation.'. (Julian of Norwich (1342-1415 A.D.). So in conclusion, finding Magnetic North, the Light and the summation of our journeys is all about being awake, reflecting, actioning, with HOPE and balance. Thank you. Tom Baxter