In response to frustration over the government’s handling of an issue of social policy, someone I know recently sent an e-mail to a group of people that included me, that read, “Hopelessness is the only practical response in the face of [the handling of the issue that upset the writer].” I’ve thought about the e-mail a number of times in recent weeks, as I’ve watched the public, Church officials and legislators talk about health care reform.

Discouragement is something I understand. One looks around at so many big problems like that one and the seeming inability of our society to reach any sort of consensus about how to fix them. As an individual, one watches all of this and wonders how it is possible to have any impact on problems so big and so complicated. It is hard not to get a bit discouraged.

Some people may view hopelessness as “the only practical response,” but hopelessness is never an acceptable response for Christians. We are called to transform the world to Kingdom. To work to create a just society which recognizes the dignity of every human person. To build a civilization of love. As Christians, as disiples of Christ, we don’t get to throw up our hands and opt out because problems are big and solutions are hard.

In the words of Dorothy Day, “No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.”

One thought on “Hope

  1. Hello

    I’ve just uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:


    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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