Maybe you’ll like my latest Image essay, about the struggle for single-mindedness among we sophisticated, double-minded types. Here’s an excerpt:

“The soul will follow the body,” is how Fr. Stephen Freeman summarizes a point made by the Christian monk Evagrius in the fourth century A.D. Do what is right, and your resistant soul will learn. This formulation turns the tables on what I’ve practiced most of my life, which is doing right when I feel like being a good person, or because I’ll get in trouble if I don’t, or because I’ll feel bad if I don’t, or because I like stepping outside myself to survey the good works of Saint Tony.

None of which is a recipe for single-mindedness. For creating in obscurity. For sticking to the nest. Carrots and sticks and self-image will drive you only so far.

You can read the rest here, on Image Journal’s fancy new website.


  1. MarcV

    Thank you Tony for your writing and sharing it. Our Sunday class was wringing our collective hands over the state of children/youth ministries and how the church needlessly loses them. I mentioned that there’s nothing new under the sun, kids will rebel and usually have to go their own way to (hopefully eventually) understand the righteous way.

    I believe your boys are starting to reach that wonderful age of questioning. We can fill them with faith and truth, but their single-mindedness gets split by the world. The best we can do is help them to understand priorities and effective decision making. They’ll end up choosing their priorities in spite of our helpful suggestions. We did the same thing back then. Nothing new.

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