In this reflection for the April 2015 CatholicCare Sydney staff newsletter, Sandie Cornish ponders the effect of William Morris’ criteria for retaining household objects. William Morris & a Minimalist Approach to People “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”… Read More »A Minimalist Approach to People?
Is your faith other worldly? Does it draw you away from or more deeply into engagement with the world? Pope Francis was speaking to families during his visit to Manila. How might faith encourage depth in your family life, work, and action for a more just society? Do you consider… Read More »Faith Deepens Engagement
In this Christmas reflection for the CatholicCare Sydney staff newsletter Sandie Cornish acknowledges the stresses and strains we experience at Christmas, and the way in which love is born in ordinary acts of kindness.
It seems that every year I arrive on the brink of Advent – the season of preparation for Christmas – feeling tired and anxious about the many things to be done before Christmas. Every year I promise myself that next year I will be more prepared and able to enter more calmly into the spirit of this season of waiting and pondering.Read More »Love is Born – Merry Christmas!
The calendar year is drawing to a close. In work and study many of us are bringing things to completion and preparing for holidays. It is a time of wrapping up and assessing. This can feel a bit at odds with the new liturgical year just begun. Endings and beginnings,… Read More »Waiting in Joyful Hope
Catholic Social Services Australia invited me to reflect on recent developments in civil society from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching. Here’s what I said to their Leadership Forum in Canberra on 21 October 2014.
The Evolving Model of Civil Society – A Perspective from Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic Social Teaching has a lot to say about recent developments in the relationship between civil society and the state. I will comment on three matters: the notion of entitlement; what Catholic Social Teaching has to say about the role of civil society and of the state; and Benedict XVI’s thinking on the logic of gift in the market.Read More »Civil Society & the State
The Soul Work of Dismantling Structures of Sin & Creating Structures of Grace
How can we make known the love of God in our world? The anger and fear in our society can’t be vanquished by more anger, not even by righteous rage. Our work for change needs to attend to structures of grace as much as structures of sin. There is a world of difference between being driven by anger or fear, and being called by love.
A Personal Journey
I first encountered the concept of structures of sin in the 1980s. It helped me to make sense of things. Into the 1990s I was concerned to identify and call out structures of sin, to try to extract myself from them, and to work actively towards dismantling them. Anger at injustice was at the heart of much of this action. By the mid 1990s I was convinced of the importance of proposing positive alternatives – we need structures of grace to replace those of sin. Then I began to understand that cooperating in creating structures of grace calls for different skills, attitudes, dispositions and capabilities than denouncing and pulling down structures of sin. It led me to quite different inner work, and different outer work too. Only love can build up structures of grace that give expression to the justice of God’s Reign. Read More »Structures of Sin, Structures of Grace