Incidentally, one of the most worrying problems in the impact of Western modernity on traditional culture is that it quite rapidly communicates its own indifference or anxiety or even hostility about age and ageing.
Quite a lot of our contemporary culture is actually shot through with a resentment of limits and the passage of time, anger at what we can't do, fear or even disgust at growing old.
A healthy human environment is one in which we try to make sense of our limits, of the accidents that can always befall us and the passage of time which inexorably changes us.
To help the poor to a capacity for action and liberty is something essential for one's own health as well as theirs: there is a needful gift they have to offer which cannot be offered so long as they are confined by poverty.
To be a Christian is to believe we are commanded and authorised to say certain things to the world; to say things that will make disciples of all nations.
At the end of the Middle Ages, nobody would ever have expected the monasteries to vanish from the scene within a generation - yet they did. Change does happen.
In spite of the haze of speculation, it is still something of a shock to find myself here, coming to terms with an enormous trust placed in my hands and with the inevitable sense of inadequacy that goes with that.
Whether something is old-fashioned or not doesn't resolve the question of whether it's true or not. I can see the temptation of simply thinking, 'Well, there's a cultural mainstream which flows neatly in one direction. You just align with it'. And that really won't do.
Marriage has a unique place because it speaks of an absolute faithfulness, a covenant between radically different persons, male and female; and so it echoes the absolute covenant of God with his chosen, a covenant between radically different partners.
In sharp contrast to the idea that this stage of life is enviable, we hear high levels of anxiety about getting old, anxieties about health, mobility, access to facilities, simple routine care and attention.
In the context of interfaith encounter, we need to bring to the surface how our actual beliefs shape what we do - not simply to agree that kindness is better than cruelty.
I have to go on being a priest and bishop, that is, to celebrate God and what God has done in Jesus, and to offer in God's name whatever I can discern of God's perspective on the world around - something which involves both challenge and comfort.
Even when I was Archbishop of Wales and working with new bishops, I used to say, not realising quite how true it was, 'One of the things you will do as a bishop is disappoint people'.
I do feel that federation, loose parallel processes, are less than we've got, less than we could have and, in the very long run, less than what God wants in the Church.
Keeping our eyes on journey's end is what we need - the place where we see at last the world that is greater than the world, the new creation that cannot be contained in present thought or social order or piety.
It is impossible to deny that Christians and Muslims have a common agenda here: both faiths have at their heart the living image of a community raised up by God's call to reveal to the world what God's purpose is for humanity.
What can we say about a marketing culture that so openly feeds and colludes with obsession? The Disney empire has developed this to an unprecedented degree of professionalism.
Economists are coming to acknowledge that measures of national wealth and poverty in terms strictly of average income tell you little that is significant of the health or viability of a society.
Institutions develop because people put a lot of trust in them, they meet real needs, they represent important aspirations, whether it's monasteries, media, or banks, people begin by trusting these institutions, and gradually the suspicion develops that actually they're working for themselves, not for the community.
The Church is the new creation, it is life and joy, it is the sacramental fellowship in which we share the ultimate purpose of God, made real for us now in our hearing the Word and sharing the Sacrament.