“I have been enjoying your program on my local Catholic radio station for many years and can happily give a large amount of the credit for my continuing spiritual growth to your offerings. You snatched up the banner many had laid aside and are marching bravely forward!”
Prince Henry had been destined for the priesthood until his older brother, Arthur, died. As a young monarch, he argued against Martin Luther and was declared a Defender of the Faith by the pope. Yet he went on to wrench Catholic England away from Rome so he could marry his mistress.
Philosophy often has denigrated the role of the emotions in human life, lumping them with the bodily passions and emotional states. But the heart is the real self. Suppressing the heart’s emotions does not lead us to be more objective, as is often argued. To see the world in its fullness, we must see it with the heart as well as the mind.
No. We should be indifferent to things that don’t matter, but we should never be indifferent to people. The proper attitude to persons—who have value in themselves—is better called detachment. While "indifferent" implies that we leave our heart out of it, "detachment" means that we love fully while loving God more than his creatures.
As Christians we are called upon to care for our less fortunate brothers and sisters and to work for a more just society. Catholics often legitimately disagree on how to go about these tasks. Here are some guiding principles. First, of course, is respect for every person, young or old, healthy or sick, rich or poor.
"We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world."
~ Albertus Magnus, the most learned professor of the period, in wonder at the brilliant defense of a difficult thesis by young Thomas Aquinas, whose humility and reserve had been misinterpreted as signs of dullness.