Building a Culture of Hope and Beauty
People often ask: What can we do, given all the problems that exist in the Church and the world? Most of what we’re thinking of when we pose that question has to do with specific things like liturgy and bad shepherds – or abortion, family breakdown, crime, and the widespread distrust of leaders and institutions. We have to keep at these specific problems, and many others, without letup and without allowing them, heavy as they are taken singly or together, to lead to despair.
But we’re the Catholic Church. Not only can we walk and chew gum at the same time, but we also have a tradition-rich enough to provide answers and concrete help in any and all human circumstances. We can’t save the world, of course. Only God can do that. But we can do what we can in the here and now, which means not solely focusing on problems and what’s negative around us. And not even only continuing longstanding good works, but actively imagining and pursuing new possibilities.
Deo volente – and the airlines co-operating – I’ll be in Houston at one such hopeful initiative today and for the next few days at a Summer Literary Series organized by our columnist James Matthew Wilson and Joshua Hren, who together head a new Master’s in Fine Arts program at the University of St. Thomas. (You can read about the Series and the MFA program by clicking here.) Houston’s Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate Mass this morning at the university on behalf of the program.