Monday, September 3, 2018

Direction



How could one find the meaning of existence, except in Him who created it? All doctors agree that one of the conditions of good health is to have an aim in life. What aim can we adopt that is not fictitious, that is more than an empty suggestion, except the fulfillment of the purpose of the creator of life?

-Paul Tournier, The Person Reborn

Monday, August 27, 2018

Transitions of Age




I have always very much liked old folk and taken great pleasure in treating them. Doubtless this is because I have felt that it is with them, with the drawing near of death and the new scale of values that this gives, that true values are sifted out, the enduring ones. If living means choosing...then choosing becomes the supreme vocation of old age, when life has become privation and earthly treasures have lost their glitter.

Then it is that a purely technical and scientific medical care, less and less effective, gives way to an ever more pressing care of the person...If medicine has no other hope to offer than a limited and temporary renewal of a vanishing ability then it becomes most disillusioning…

To cling to the past, to seek most doggedly to prolong one’s time of action means precisely this: living a useless old age…

Our task is to help men right to the end, to help them to grow up, and to help them to grow old. The new transition means to face, rather than avoid, this question of the true meaning of life.

                                                                                      -Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tolerance



Tolerance is popularly understood as not imposing your beliefs or ideas on someone else but, "tolerating" the other's belief system, and "celebrating our differences." It's the core of the diversity movement.

In reality this is a false tolerance because those who are its greatest adherents cannot tolerate those who hold to certain views of the world or humans. All of us have some boundary, some point of no return that we can't tolerate. I can't tolerate excess materialism. Others may not tolerate those who believe same sex behavior is wrong or vice versa.  Others can't tolerate the consumption of meat, environmentalists, the wealthy or the adulterers. In reality, we all have things we consider licit or illicit, and we consciously or unconsciously cannot tolerate those who cross that mental boundary.

True tolerance is more of a profound acceptance of others based on our own finiteness, weaknesses and imperfections.

"The knowledge of our weakness is the source of our tolerance."
 -Tournier, The Person Reborn

True tolerance has little to do with keeping my beliefs to myself or paying lip service to accepting other's beliefs. It has everything to do with my understanding of myself. I am fallen from perfection, broken and incomplete. I will never ever have a full understanding of life. I am an interdependent, hypocritical creature, prone to judge others while simultaneously falling short of that elusive perfection.

Others may believe things profoundly different from me. I may not tolerate materialism, homosexuality, homophobia, reproductive rights, the pro-life movement, greenhouse gas emitting corporations, gender dysphoria, binary genders or a host of other ideas, issues or perspectives.

If I am tolerant, I humbly accept and embrace the other. Why? Not because they fall within my boundaries of licit ideas or behaviors, or because I accept that we believe differently. That's a delusion. But because they are a fellow creature, broken and incomplete, in need of acceptance, and redemption - just like me. I may disagree with their perspective in the depths of my soul. Nevertheless, the other is a fellow human, in desperate need for the flood-light of truth to penetrate the soul.

Blessed are the cracked, for they let the light in.

Hi, my name is Rick, and I'm a hypocrite.





Monday, August 20, 2018

A Mature Search




What is important for the aged is not what they are still able to do, nor yet what they have accumulated and cannot take with them. It is what they are.



This is the cause of the dreadful feeling of uselessness that so deeply bothers most elderly people. All those concepts of our modern Western civilization, in which effective action is held above all, contribute to their plight.



If progress in medicine tends to make our society more and more made up of older people, then a radical and authentic reevaluation of old age is absolutely essential. Yet is it not the older person himself who must discover this secret, instead of considering himself a worn-out adult?…



It is not enough to invent some new life goal by hit-or-miss, some consolation prize for old age. It is the true meaning of life that needs to be discovered. The search for this will be the law of old age...

                                                                                       -Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life

Monday, August 13, 2018

Success and Failure


Successes have their meaning and there is no question of undervaluating them. However, failures also have their meaning, perhaps a deeper meaning. What gives them all meaning is that they work together toward the fulfillment of God’s plan.

                                                                                      -Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life