October 30th, 2012The Power of Hopeby Joseph Pearce
There has been something of the smudge of smuttiness staining the United States over the past few months. The lies, counter-lies and statistics of the Presidential election have sullied the atmosphere of honest debate on the most important of issues. As election day approaches, the deluded mob threatens to storm the bastion of marriage, much as an earlier deluded mob stormed the Bastille. As the undemocratic nature of plutocratic macro-"democracy" descends to the level of mob rule, I am reminded of the words of the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, that "all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; and wears man's smudge, and shares man's smell". The sin of man seems to stain everything it touches, choking virtue in its vice-like grip.
In these sad and sullen circumstances, it is all too easy to despair; all too easy to fall into the mortal sin of killing the hope in our hearts with the predatory power of pride. Such a descent into the pit of our own anxiety is the final and most important victory of the Evil One and the evil ones who serve him. The abomination of the Obama nation is as nothing compared with the loss of our souls.
God is not threatened by Obama, though Obama should feel threatened by God. In similar fashion, we are not threatened by Obama if we have God in our hearts. The world is a vale of tears, a veil of tears, through which we only see the shadow of reality. The fullness of reality is to be found in eternity and in the Presence of God that resides there. Regardless of who wins next week's election, the world will still be a vale of tears. It will still be filled with miserable sinners, the worst of whom will be running the country. Virtue will be derided, babies will be killed, the family will remain under siege. The culture of death will be as deadly. In the end, however, the culture of death will kill itself. It will abort itself and contracept itself out of existence. The future belongs to those who have children and eternity will be the reward for those who have faith, love - and hope!
Returning to the same sonnet by Hopkins which I quoted above, it ends on a note of triumphalist Hope:
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs -
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.