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Fast – the Achilles Heel of the Church

Posted on December 4th, 2013

In Homer’s Iliad, we read of Achilles who had been dipped in the river by his mother to make him invulnerable. The problem was all of him was dipped in the river except his heel by which she held him in the process. This heel was where he suffered his deathly wound during the Greeks’ battle with Troy. Our Achilles’ heels are our weaknesses, our dark sides, the unconscious parts of us that can be our undoing – regardless of how strong we are or how well we are doing in every other way. I have become convinced the Achilles heel of the Western church is our rushing. The crowds can be large, the programs effective, our growth impressive. But if we participate in the speed of our culture and do not slow down, it will prove to be our mortal wound. Why? It is violent. As one scholar noted: “The dominant form violence takes in modernity is speed.” Why does it look like for you, for us, to slow down during Advent when the culture has increased the speed of our supposed commitments five-fold?

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