Twice a week I post a quote from saints from the Episcopal Calendar of Saints that week. They are to be meditative and mindful, playful and thought inducing. I hope they are helpful in your spiritual journeys.
William Temple (1881 - 1944)
Archbishop of Canterbury
William Temple, 98th Archbishop of Canterbury, was born in 1881, the second son of Frederick Temple. At the age of two, he had the first attack of the gout that would be with him throughout life and eventually kill him. His eyesight was bad, and a cataract, present from infancy, left him completely blind in the right eye when he was 40. However, he was an avid reader, with a near-photographic memory, and once he had read a book, it was his. He was a passionate lover of the music of Bach. In literature, his special enthusiasms were poetry (Browning and Shelley), drama (the Greeks and Shakespeare), and a few novels, especially The Brothers Karamazov. He believed that theological ideas were often explored most effectively by writers who were not explicitly writing theology.
He was at Oxford (Balliol) from 1900 to 1904, and was president of the Oxford Union (the debating society of the University). Here he developed a remarkable ability to sum up an issue, expressing the pros and cons so clearly and fairly that the original opponents often ended up agreeing with each other. This ability served him in good stead later when he moderated conferences on theological and social issues. However, it was not just a useful talent for settling disputes. He thought that beliefs and ideas reach their full maturity through their response to opposing ideas.