Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bp. Vasa reflection on Hope

Bishop Vasa's Dec 7 reflection on Spe Salvi; In hope we are saved, contains the following:

Precisely because, in our confused world, there is a tendency to put our hope in a whole variety of things which are not God, those things hoped for, even if achieved, are quite incapable of filling the true yearning within us. This repeated seeking and failing to find fulfillment, because we seek blindly or at least shortsightedly, leads to a crisis. Pope Benedict calls this a "crisis of Christian hope." He illustrates this in relation to youth: "Young people can have the hope of a great and fully satisfying love; the hope of a certain position in their profession, or of some success that will prove decisive for the rest of their lives. When these hopes are fulfilled, however, it becomes clear that they were not, in reality, the whole. It becomes evident that man has need of a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for him, something that will always be more than he can ever attain."

Young people are told that they won't find their "fulfillment" in traditinal values; to be critical of the past, and to put their hope in the new. Yet, are they taught critical reason, or unreasonable criticism? I think the latter. Are they taught that they will not find their hope fulfilled in the things of the world? no, only that they won't in the virtues of the past, they still are plunged uncritically into the present. What is the traditional way of bringing the young through this period? is there one? Or for all times, has it been necessary to cross the red sea and wander in the wilderness before finding the promised land? Is it to direct the hope to a goal and ideal that is worthy of the dignity of man, as have done numerous saints like Martin de Porres and Theresa of Calcutta, even though it is known that the intermediate hope will not be fulfilled and the greater hope will need kick in, as it finally did for Dorothy Day? I do not know the answers; I'm a relative newcomer to this car-wreck; and while there is much forensic evidence, one needs to know where to look; what questions to even ask.

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