Quiet Hope: A New Year’s Resolution

"Despair is the unforgivable sin, for the despairing conclude that God will not or cannot act, that the universe is fundamentally unfriendly and inhospitable to the true, good, and beautiful, and that humanity has lost the imago Dei. To judge in this way is to deny the goodness of the world and its Creator and sustainer, and that is the sin of all sins.

I sometimes fear that many who share my own values and commitments have capitulated to the same spiritual inertia and poverty that infects so many in our time. Kass, quoting Irving Kristol, notes that our society has produced “a world prosperous beyond all previous imaginings,” but “this world, with every passing decade, has become ever more spiritually impoverished. That war on poverty is the great unfinished task before us.” That is, many suffer from a spiritual poverty so profound and all-encompassing that its dehumanizing and enervating effects are thought normal, as if the loss of transcendence is simply how things are and ought to be. The spiritually impoverished don’t recognize their poverty; in fact, they think they are awake, seeing farther and better than anyone else."