- Bitterness of soul arises from words, seeming too sharp for speech, that ferment in the mute dark. Would speech be the uncorking that releases thoughts to the open air and sweetens their effect? What if they are indeed poison—a cure for the speaker to pour yet new bitterness for the hearer to drink? Is there no one who can drink this cup to the dregs and still live?
- In “getting things off the chest,” one lays burdens on others. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches that one must not seek healing at the expense of another, for one already has healing at the expense of this man who endured all burdens beyond death. Has he been crucified in vain? Has he overcome death without effect? One must confess without oppressing—that is, confess to this Wonderful Counselor who can bear and has already borne all burdens.
- Bitterness of soul arises in the absence of confession. The Father unwounded hears and in the wounding of his Son heals.
unus ille in mortuis liber, potestatem habens ponendi animam suam et potestatem habens iterum sumendi eam, pro nobis tibi victor et victima, et ideo victor, quia victima, pro nobis tibi sacerdos et sacrificium, et ideo sacerdos, quia sacrificium, faciens tibi nos de servis filios de te nascendo, tibi serviendo.
Among the dead he [Jesus] alone is free, having the power of laying down his life and having the power of taking it up again. For you [God], on our behalf, he is victor and victim, and therefore the victor because the victim; for you, on our behalf, he is priest and sacrifice, and therefore the priest because the sacrifice; for you, he makes us from slaves into children by being begotten of you yet becoming your slave.
—Augustine, Confessions X.XLIII
- What good is it to make a child ready for college and career yet not also—not foremost—for life? The child will become a worker but never a human.
- It is a harsh judgment to say someone is not human or will not become a human. Any man or woman is surely human enough to be treated with dignity. Yes, but human enough to treat oneself and one’s neighbors with dignity? to face death with dignity? to awake again with dignity and not with a shred of shame?
- Is this an unbearably stupid thought? Has the moral and spiritual education of youth fallen so far out of vogue that our whole society would scoff at it? Does it seem ridiculous to imagine an education that trains a child for the college of humanity and for a career in becoming human?