Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas: when the sacred becomes real

In Pietro Orioli's painting of the Nativity, says Vincent Nichols, we are reminded that neither love nor freedom can flourish without sacrifice and self-restraint for the sake of others.
Looks like God is in favour of trying to do something about climate change. How can you argue against that?

It's not only Christmas that has nearly arrived, but the end of the year, too. No one can pretend that 2009 has been an easy year. The financial crisis and recession have caused such hardship; we're still engaged in armed conflicts with no resolution in sight; confidence in MPs – many good and hard-working – has been shaken by the expenses scandal. Then there's the urgency of climate change, perhaps the most difficult problem to solve because it requires a new way of thinking and acting.

Under the normal stress of preparing for Christmas, I sense a deeper tiredness with our public life and institutions; the promises quickly made yet impossible to keep; expectations inflated for short-term lift but resulting only in long-term disappointment. Where does a weary society go for refreshment? Let me make two suggestions: art and faith. They're not exclusive and one can often lead to the other. Read more.

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