SAINT MARY OF THE CROSS
The long-awaited film “Silence” is planned for release in December 2016.
Producer, Martin Scorsese, has been considering making it since about 1991. Based on the book “Silence” by Japanese author, Endo, it’s about Christian missionaries persecuted in Japan in the 1600s.
One priest is threatened with torture and death if he doesn’t abandon the faith – so he abandons the faith.
That’s about it.
The theme is why God is (or seems) silent when we need him most.
Is not the key to relating to the silent God, to make silence (praying in silence) central in our life – educating ourselves in it, daily, hourly, minutely?
Silence isn’t just absent sound. It’s something present that you can hear and come to recognise.
Today’s lifestyle makes silence unfamiliar.
Electronic communications make us afraid of silence — preferring hollow, futile, empty noise.
Unlearning that, can we become integrated children of God, cheerfully indifferent to whether we suffer or not?
Professor Fiona Kerr at a recent “Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Conference” told how brain research shows that making eye contact with other people improves our ability to keep calm and to behave well.
Your grandmother probably told you that ages ago.
(1) Why do mobile phones need a screen? My phone is about 100 years out of date. You can make satisfactory voice calls with it. That’s all.
(2) Doctors should consult with no computer in the room. In the office computers might be useful. In the consulting area they discourage intimate conversation.
(3) Human persons are not soul-less bodies made of chemicals. They are also not disembodied souls. Every person is a unique unit – body and soul integrated to act — and to take responsibility for those actions.
(4) Every person we meet is made in God’s image. To remember that is something that I, for one, must do better.
In the Netherlands, euthanasia was officially legalised in 2002.
Professor Theo Boer was for many years a member of a regional euthanasia review committee overseeing the operation of Netherland’s euthanasia laws.
At first he favoured the legislation….
Later he warned the British government against copying the path taken by the Netherlands:
“I used to be a supporter of legislation. But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a different view….
“Some slippery slopes really are slippery….
“Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely ever to go back in again….”
Now, in 2016, Australian lobbyists for legal euthanasia are putting huge pressure on politicians.
They have already dumbed-down the debate to the point where most Australians think that euthanasia means letting people die.
But it doesn’t mean that. It means killing.
Human sexuality has a purpose.
To feel good is not that purpose – at best that’s a bonus.
Feelings aren’t good or bad, they’re merely superficial.
Lower animals have sex instinctively to feel good, having no understanding of the purpose of body organs — ovaries, uterus, breasts, plus hormones and all.
As “rational” animals, humans do understand – that obviously the purpose of those bodily attributes is reproduction.
Male and female anatomies are complementary — their function makes them like one body.
Something fits into somewhere like a key fits a lock.
Putting that something in the wrong orifice creates disorder – subverting and disintegrating the whole system.
About as rational as putting your key in the septic tank instead of into its lock.
If we must do sex education in schools, these basics should be taught.
No doubt such education would be better done at home.
The Australian Government’s Principles for School Drug Education still state that the overall goal must be harm minimisation.
The rationale seems to be:
(1) most people use drugs only occasionally and for a short part of their lives.
(2) it’s impossible to eliminate drugs from society anyway.
(3) therefore, “harm-minimisation” is good enough.
They assume that the main problem with badly-behaved people is their being ignorant – so that education is the answer.
Plato taught that 2400 years ago. He was wrong. But we still believe it. We like the idea. It dominates how our taxes get spent.
It’s wrong because it’s deterministic — telling wrong-doing persons that, deep down, they can’t really change.
Jesus Christ, however, taught that happiness comes with purity.
“Blessed are the pure in heart,” he said, “for they shall see God.” (Matthew’s gospel, chapter 5)
Is purity something realistic to aim at?
If we discipline ourselves to even make a start in behaving better, do we really begin, by God’s grace, to re-constitute ourselves?
Should we be teaching our young people that?
A private meeting of about 100 people to organise a “vote-no” campaign regarding the same-sex-marriage” plebiscite has been called off by the owners of the Sydney hotel conference room they had booked.
The hotel received so many online threats of violence from “marriage equality” advocates that they felt their staff and guests were in danger.
They had to close down their Facebook page.
It’s not known whether the threats included death threats.
Plenty of nations are ruled by groups who achieve their purposes by standover methods.
Is Australia becoming one of them?
What a pity. I had hoped we could do better than that.
(source: The Australian, 17-18 September)