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Devra Torres

Examining Your Examination of Conscience

Jul. 19, 2013, at 12:59am

I’ve been reading Jacques Philippe again.  This brings on the urge to just string together Jacques Philippe quotes and call it a post, because, after all, who could say it better, or what is there to add?

The book in question is called The Way of Trust and Love: a Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux (Scepter).

It’s perfect for people like me—and I suspect there are many—who suffer from the uneasy conviction that there must be more to the Little Flower than what we imagine, but who are too allergic to nineteenth-century religious prose to find out for sure.

This short paperback, as accessible as it is profound, will allow you to derive enormous amounts of spiritual nutrition from St.

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Devra Torres

Overcoming Practical Pessimism

Aug. 29, 2012, at 7:57am

“Remember!  Inside every silver lining is a dark cloud of despair!”

(Many thanks to Richard West for this photo.  For more of his very striking and varied artistry, please see more of his work here.)

I knew a wonderful grandmother whose take on life could be captured in those words.  I couldn’t figure it out—until I became a mother.  Part of being responsible for someone you love is being on continual alert for anything that could possibly go wrong. The world is suddenly full of death traps.  A grape on the floor—choking hazard!   A hitherto harmless pet—smothering hazard!

And later: your daughter’s boyfriend—lifelong-misery hazard!

But it’s not only panicky mothers who tend to look on

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Devra Torres

Oh, No, Not That Again!  Revisiting Self-Esteem

May. 23, 2012, at 11:19pm

What word is more overused than “love”?  Well, maybe none, but I'll wager “self-esteem” runs a respectable second, especially in America. 

We’ve got the students whose math scores are somewhere deep in the cellar of the international standings—but whose feelings about their math abilities are Number One.  

Or there was that class my daughter once took in which she was asked to describe herself in a poem.  One classmate’s effort began:

"I love me. / I'm cool as can be."

It went on in that vein, and it didn’t get better, either.  It became a sort of anti-legend in our house, an archetype of How You Kids Must Not Turn Out.

And yet, there’s clearly such a thing as healthy self-esteem, or

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