Futility, humility and the Year of the Word

I had cause to sort out some family photographs recently with one of my sisters. It was at turns edifying and discombobulating as we recalled great characters from our shared past and then realised that most of them are no longer with us. All things must pass, but when the vector of mortality gets personal, it can challenge one’s sense of self-worth. I well recall Fr Brian Green once remarking in his Pastoral Renewal Exchange that while de-cluttering one day, he came across a crumpled carrier bag containing a substantial if somewhat random collection of photographs from his many years of ministry. Leafing through them, affectionate memories gradually gave way to melancholy. Sinking into a slough of despond, he summarised his feelings memorably as ‘Brian Green – This is your life – A Bagful of Futility’.

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