Hope’s Eternal Spring
Shallow Optimism, Vain Hopes & God’s Absent Presence
And who is he that can hurt you,” St. Peter asks, “if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer any thing for justice’ sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear; and be not troubled. But sanctify Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you” (1 Peter 3:13–15).
Calling for fortitude in a time of trial, Peter’s first epistle has an obvious bearing upon our lives at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Although Christians in this country do not face overt, violent persecution—at least, not yet—we are, if true to our vocation, estranged in many ways from the dominant culture that surrounds us and subject to misunderstanding, disdain, and sometimes outright hostility.
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R. V. Young is Professor of English Emeritus at North Carolina State University, and a former editor of Modern Age: A Quarterly Review. His Shakespeare & the Idea of Western Civilization is forthcoming in January from Catholic University of America Press. He and his wife are parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Dunedin, Florida. They have five grown children, 15 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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