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February 11, 2008


Steve Smith

In the days before I was 30, there was a saying in some quarters that "you can't trust anybody over 30." (Then the people who said that turned 30, and they seem to have changed their opinion.) By now it seems to me that if there is a presumption either way (and if there is, it would be a very weak one), the presumption would be that you can't trust anybody under 30-- not because they're untrustworthy in the usual sense, maybe, but because they haven't learned those things you say you've learned but wish you didn't know. The idea is to learn those things and yet realize that faith, hope, and charity are warranted anyway. So Happy Birthday!, and welcome to the club eligible for a weak presumption of trust.

Joyless Moralist

Awww, now I feel all left out. :-)

But yes, Happy Birthday! This happens also to be the 150th anniversary of the first Marian appartion to St. Bernadette at Lourdes. If there are such things as omens for the next decade, that seems to be a happy one!

Steve Smith

As I said, the presumption is at best a very weak one. Some people under 30 are surely "trustworthy." Most people over 30--present contributor not excluded, alas-- probably aren't. So no offense was intended. The important (and, maybe, self-supporting though not exactly self-confirming) point, about which I actually am serious, is that one learns things one would rather not have learned and can still have a basis-- a more solid basis, maybe-- for faith, hope, and charity.

Joyless Moralist

"So no offense was intended."

I know. I was teasing. But I think your more substantive point is very true. Viewed in the right way, the hardships of life can provide even greater grounds for faith, hope and charity. With each new hard truth that we learn, and with any suffering that we may see or experience, we will naturally ask, "And can the love of God overcome even this?"

When we realize that, yes, even this can be made well in the end, our faith will be increased that much more. I don't know if this is exactly what you had in mind, but perhaps it's related.

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