To get through life without having asked the big questions is not a triumph, but a tragedy.
Just as boats were not made to bob cosily at anchor in the harbour, but were made for the open seas - so the Church was brought into being to brave the real world; to go in faith and take the risk of the new. Not to look pretty - not to take its own importance too seriously - but to throw the rule book away and get on with kissing the lepers.
Talking about the faith is a key factor in directing people to its meaning and its power - and if we are God's frozen people, calcified into silence by fear, then all the good news in the world is not going to be heard by this waiting and worried world.
Beware a sort of "get the wagons in a circle" Christianity, with no room for compromise, no willingness to pursue the possibility that you might, in any one particular, be wrong, or even only partly right.
It is when a church rests on its laurels – trusts in its own achievements, begins to believe its own propaganda, that it slips from its anchor in the grace of God.
Clearly, where love is, beautiful gestures will follow, sacrifices will be made - and no -one will pause to count the cost.
You can change the government, re-organise society, make the systems fairer, and tinker with the machinery of state till you're blue in the face - but until the heart is renewed, it's all futile. Until love makes its home, through the Spirit of Jesus - it's all cosmetics. No real change has taken place.
His love has no small print, no strings, no ulterior motive - utterly without self -interest, he cares only for the good of the sheep; out of a desire to protect them and enrich the quality of life of his flock, the Good Shepherd empties himself of all but love.
God does not demand that we be famous, just that we be alive.
When a person has no clear goal, no defining impulse, no fundamental direction, he drifts, he stumbles through life.
The great tragedy of our culture is the fashionable denigration of enthusiasm.
We are not disqualified from life in all its fullness because we are old, or because we are shy.
That means if faith is in us: it goes where we go -
into the dramas, into the ordinariness, into our relationships, into our responsibilities, into the mystery of the future.
Christ began his revolution that was to sweep the world, there on the lonely hill of Calvary.
It's not that we simply try harder to be nicer - screwing ourselves up to be better, to do better, but simply letting God in, opening the window of our soul, and inviting his Spirit to take up residence in our heart.
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