OH BRIGHT LIGHT!
"Light is given to the sun, not to shine alone on itself, but also on the whole earth. So too, God wills that all our gifts of wealth power and knowledge should benefit others" (St.Thomas Aquinas). Here in one short summary of our duties and our blessings, Aquinas highlights the beauty of creation, balancing it with the consequent actions of justice that must follow from such a receipt of gifts. We all know all too well of multitudes of examples in our own behaviours and in others, where we have shrugged our shoulders at the acknowledgement of the full implications of such a summary as Aquinas'. We have only to consider the vast income gap between low paid workers in Britain and the salaries of many chief executives. A long time ago, I read a report by Strathclyde university which recommended that there was an ideal pay differential in companies, namely, 18 : 1. In other words, say in a business there was a porter on £10,000 per year wage, the chief executive should be on £180,000 per year. Obviously there are many different contexts to consider, but the idea of creating a differential that can be morally considered, rather than everything going into free fall, is far better. But as the poet and writer, Marianne Williamson said," Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." The idea of a dictator for example, being slowly consumed by fear of a darkness may seem peculiar. But as Aquinas mentions many times, we inhabit a world of light and dark, and our goal must be to increase the light of truth and justice. To let go of that fear of the darkness, requires us to acknowledge our own failings, and then to begin to look up at the sun, and feel its warmth and then to feel our creative growth of our activities.
This week is the anniverary of the fire bombing of Tokyo by American planes in WW.11. in which 100,000 civilians were burnt to death. A stark reminder of our fight for the LIGHT.
Thank you.. Tom Baxter