There are many reasons to be optimistic in life, especially as an American. We live in comfort and peace. I go to bed at night, not fearing roving thugs, errant artillery shells, or that some secret government agency will come and kidnap me.
The turmoil in the Church has caused much consternation, especially when many of us thought we’d left the worst of it behind in the early 2000s. I have seen plenty of ideas for how we can act out, in civil disobedience, to register our displeasure. Among them are to withhold financial support, stop receiving communion, or even join another denomination. I’m not sure why I should let the failures of leadership on the part of others steal the joy of my faith.
The Catholic Church is built upon the relationship between God and His Church. We have the Sacraments, the Magisterium, and Tradition on which to lean on, not a singular bishop or priest. We should root out corruption and abuse with extreme prejudice, but giving up the gift of faith is not a proportional response.
The same can be said for our political leaders. We have been gifted this thoughtful Republic, this unique system of government that has withstood extreme volatility. The correct response to a political leader that we dislike is not to destroy the machinery of government.
There is much to be joyful and optimistic about. There are many pleasures that we get to enjoy every day, such as the change in weather, the vibrancy of leaves, or even just the taste of ice cream. I’m not going to waste my creative powers and imagination on a buffet of negativity.
We are a Nation, and a Church, with problems, but my joy is mine to surrender. I have so many blessings, including the daily doses of cuteness given to me by my three children. You can give up your joy if you like, but I’m going to jealously guard mine.