Recently, reading Commonweal magazine, I was struck by this line by Jerry Ryan, a Little Brother of Jesus: “I have lost contact with so many people who meant a lot to me at different stages of my life, people I loved dearly and really cared for and who had given me so much and made me what I am.”
The original Jurassic Park film from 25 years ago rather inventively explored a theme that has been prominent in Western culture from the time of the Romantic reaction to the Enlightenment—namely, the dangers of an aggressive and arrogant rationalism.
Of the approximately 107 billion human beings who have lived and died on planet Earth, Jesus Christ was by far the most outstanding, the most influential, and the most revered. He only lived 33 years among us.
Every so often, a new catchphrase will take hold in church circles, signaling a change of course in catechetical method or missionary outreach. Phrases like “forming intentional disciples” and “ministry of presence” come to mind as examples.
For centuries, suicide was considered as an act of despair and despair itself was seen as the most grievous sin of all. In many religious circles, despair was seen as the most sinful of all acts and ultimately unforgivable.