"Without any understanding of man's deep-seated urge to self-transcend, of his very reluctance to take the hard, ascending way, and his search for some bogus liberation either below or to one side of his personality, we cannot hope to make sense of our own particular period of history or indeed of history in general, of life as it was lived in the past and as it is lived today. For this reason I propose to discuss some of the more common Grace-substitutes, into which and by means of which men and women have tried to escape from the tormenting consciousness of being merely themselves. .... human beings have felt the radical inadequacy of their personal existence, the misery of being their insulated selves and not something else, something wider, something in Wordsworthian phrase, 'far more deeply interfused'." (Aldous
Huxley, "Appendix" from The Devils of Loudun, Penguin Books, 1971, 313f.)

Assessing the Pope's Visit to the Middle east

JPopeFranicsMiddleEastThere were many striking images during the extraordinary 72 hours that Pope Francis spent in the Middle East. The Pope at the River Jordan, visiting with Syrian refugees, celebrating mass in Bethlehem, praying at the separation wall, uniting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, visiting the Dome of the Rock, leaving a note at the Western Wall, kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors... to name a few. Read more