Educating Catholic heroes

Here are some snippets from the 12-minute first section of a talk, which, as an experiment, I am uploading as a recording (see below) - I'd welcome comments from anyone who finds this helpful, (or unhelpful). ...

When one looks at the world today, with all its many problems and challenges, and worst of all its lack of hope about solving these problems, one can be tempted to despair, or one can be – which is no doubt better – tempted to rush around madly trying to fix our broken culture.

We are in a sandstorm at this time in history. Massive winds of cultural change have made the landscape unrecognisable, and shifting the sand around to try and put things back the way they were, or the way we think they were, is just too difficult for us. We won't fix things that way, by political and social schemes.

But we can plant solid young trees every few hundred yards, with miraculously deep roots. Once they are established, with God's grace they might help things settle down, because the people caught up in the storm will instinctively look to those heroic young trees with their deep roots. As they get older those trees might just provide enough shelter from the storm for other people to imitate their virtues and put down roots of their own, tapping down beneath the sands of change to the living waters beneath.

These trees are our young people, called to a life of particular heroism at this time in the world’s history, called to be salt and light; the leaven in the loaf of humanity that could yet help us all rise up out of our sleepy sinfulness into the light of God’s grace. And it is our job to educate these boys and girls. And so that explains my theme: educating Catholic heroes.

What makes a Catholic hero? First, in the manner of every good schoolboy, I’ll define my terms. Heroism ... When we read accounts of the heroes of Greek and Roman mythology, what traits of heroism can we pick out? Well, there is certainly devotion to the gods: when we study Homer, we see that the one solid and unshakeable trait of Odysseus’ character is his tender devotion to Athena and it is often her divine intervention that provides the means for him to get out of most of his scrapes with cyclopses, sirens and all manner of other strange beings, including other gods.
..... (here you have to click on the recording below to hear what I have to say!)


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