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There is a striking parallel in the Bible between two stories. In each, an innocent woman, threatened by a crowd, is saved because one person intervenes, gives counsel and alters things. The stories, however, end differently, one manifesting the gift of counsel considerably more than the other.
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Few persons have written as eloquently on the difference between simply being bright and full of information as opposed to being wise, as has the American philosopher, James Hillman.
The American poet, Robert Frost, once wrote that there is a congenital something in us that hates a wall. Well, there is also something, just as non-eradicable, that loves a list, especially in us who are cradle Catholics.
In Iris Murdoch's novel, A Severed Head, the hero becomes obsessed with a woman he hardly knows, but who has a paralyzing emotional grip on him. At one point, he has to choose whether he will have an affair with her.
Few things warm the heart as does the myth of redemptive violence. This myth, very different than that taught us by Jesus, lies in the root of the Western soul. It forms the basis for countless, heart-warming novels, movies, songs and children's stories, and is generally substituted for the actual story of God's redemption.