Most people will agree that 2018 was a difficult year, filled with drama, tragedy, loss, and anger. For many of us, it’s hard to look ahead to 2019 and see a lot of hope for change. But as Christians, we are called to return to hope, time and time again. What are three ways we can find some optimism about the new year?
- Trust that God really is in control. “Trust in the Lord forever!” we read in Isaiah 26:4, “for the Lord is an eternal Rock.” The word “trust” here in the Septuagint is the Greek word for “hope”—so they’re closely related!
- Remember that the holiness of the Church is not (and never has been) due to the holiness of its members, but to the presence of the Spirit as its soul, working to save those often deeply unworthy members.
- Look to the saints. They weren’t people who never fell—they just didn’t give in to their falls. They felt the same longing we do for an excuse to go on falling. Read the life of any saint and you’ll find an example you can follow.
Catholics have an advantage other people don’t: we live in the light of the resurrection. We are a people of hope. Scripture is filled with stories of perseverance in spite of all the same troubles we have today. What that means is that we’re not in this alone—and that knowledge, right there, can give us some optimism!