Highlights from the week online

A philosopher’s great advice: ‘Don’t worry’

Last week the distinguished philosopher Germain Grisez died, prompting many tributes for his academic work, his popular writings on the spiritual life, and his decades-long defence of Church teaching on contraception. A different obituary came from his friend Ellie at meandmy house10.blogspot.co.uk. She knew Grisez as a fellow daily Mass-goer, and it was many years before she discovered his literary and philosophical output. Ellie “felt like I had just stumbled upon a spiritual gold mine. I kept stopping to ponder that I had seen him in church every day for so long, yet had never known what was there, below the surface.”

Grisez was a kind, patient and humble friend. He also gave good advice. “If I got stuck on some troublesome question arising within the Church, as seems so often to [happen] today, he’d say: ‘Don’t worry Ellie, that’s not necessary for you to worry about, God hasn’t given you that problem to work on so you just focus on what he’s asked of you.’ ”

Grisez’s approach was a little diffident, and his manner was “slow and deliberate”. But that helped to explain his impact. “He was the quintessential tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story. His slow and steady progress on any work he took on, wound up becoming an avalanche of truth that benefitted the mystical body of Christ. His thinking will shape the Church for years to come.”

A plea for charity in online debates

At Dominus Mihi Adjutor, Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman made a plea for charity in debate. Online comment sections, he said, sometimes display “a less attractive side to debate and argument. No doubt most of these commenters are decent people of faith, capable of high emotion in defence of the Church and its faith and worship, and brave enough to stand up and be counted for it”. But there was a risk of “indiscretion”.

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