The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic


Philosophy behind this website

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy

11th September 2001


Australia's Catholic Bishops

Australian Catholic Bishops should say

Australia's Support for Legislation Worthy of Adolf Hitler


Bill of Rights




Church's Fathers & Doctors

Church's Teaching on Divorce, Contraception and Human Sexuality

Compatible sites


David Attenborough

Defamation of Catholicism

Discipline & the Child

Dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Economic Problems

Evangelium Vitae 73



Freemasonry & the Church

God is not Material

Harry Potter



Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews

Mary MacKillop

Miscellaneous Papers



Moral Issues

Non-directional Counselling

Papers written by others


Politicians & the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Leo XIII

Pope Pius XII

Popes on St Thomas



Religious Freedom

Questions for Catholic Parents in Parramatta

Research Involving Embryos Bill - Letter to the Prime Minister

Sts John Fisher & Thomas More

Science and Philosophy


Subversion of Catholic Education


Thomas Merton

Vatican II

For young readers:

Myall Lakes Adventure

© 2006 Website by Netvantage



St Pio of Pietrelcina remarked that the whole of a man’s life is a struggle with himself.  In his long narrative poem, The Ballad of the White Horse, G K Chesterton puts in the mouth of the Blessed Virgin words which encapsulate the same great truth:

But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

One of the errors of the modern age, a compound of the subjectivism and materialism to which we are heir, is the view that a man’s life achieves its apogee between 17 and 35 and, thereafter, is in decline.  A second error allied to the first, and arising from the same sources (since it involves the inability to make distinctions) is the confusion of good secundum quid with good simpliciter.  We praise the good musician, the good athlete, the good swimmer, the good cricketer, the good footballer, for no other reason than that he excels within a limited discipline.  Should he die precipitately, we laud him for this limited and transient excellence and overlook any lack of essential goodness.

The source of moral weakness, original sin, is in each of us.  It is, then, a good working hypothesis (as Sherlock Holmes might say) to assume that all our public figures have feet of clay.  Every country, and time, has its instances of public failures.  Jim Burke, a fine opening batsman in 24 test matches for Australia, retired in 1959 and shot himself when faced with financial adversity in 1979; Darren Millane, a marvellous back flanker for the (Australian Rules) Collingwood Football Club, died when he drove his motor vehicle into the back of a semi trailer while grossly affected by alcohol in 1991; and, in the last week, Chris Mainwaring, former champion wingman for the West Coast Eagles Football Club, indulged in substance abuse that brought about his precipitate death at just 41 years of age.

How often we see a public figure denying the truth of irrefutable facts to maintain a pretence that he has never done wrong.  How edifying to hear such a person admit publicly his past mistakes, to turn from dishonesty to honesty.  How much more important such conversion of heart is for a man’s life—for his eternal destiny—than the transient glory he may have attracted for an excellence which, after all, he did not give himself.

It is not intellectual or sporting prowess that makes a man but his endurance in goodness and integrity.  This is not something that ends at around age 35.  It is a lifetime’s work.


Michael Baker
6th October 2007—St Bruno