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  • Writer's pictureFrank Basler

Horror and Hope

Things are still pretty horrible this week! Yet there are signs of hope – order emerging from disorder. Young people joining older neighbors with brooms to clean up streets in front of looted storefronts. GoFundMe campaigns to compensate small businesses for their losses. Order arising out of disorder.

Fr. Richard Rohr ends his latest (and to my mind best) book, The Universal Christ, by discussing what he believes to be a universal pattern of life moving from order, though disorder, to reorder. He says it’s the trajectory of an individual’s spiritual transformation. And, it fits social systems and societies. Here’s what Fr. Richard says:

This journey from order to disorder to reorder must happen for all of us…. Our role is to listen and allow, and at least slightly cooperate with this almost natural progression. We all come to wisdom at the major price of both our innocence and our control. Which means that few go there willingly. Why would anyone choose it? I wouldn’t.

I want to repeat that there is no nonstop flight from order to reorder or from disorder to reorder…. I'm not sure why God created the world that way, but I have to trust the universal myths and stories. Between beginning and end the Great Stories inevitably reveal a conflict, a contradiction, a confusion, a fly in the ointment of our self-created paradise. This sets the drama in motion and gives it momentum and humility. Everybody of course initially shoots for “happiness,” but most books I have ever read seemed to be some version of how suffering refined, taught, and formed people….

How’s that for hope? Out of our personal suffering during this pandemic may come growth and renewed strength. Out of our societal suffering this spring signs of hope emerge:

· Almost 1000 high school students and supporters gathered for a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Westport, CT, organized by a graduating senior.

What signs of hope are you seeing? Are you experiencing more order in your life? How do these reflections affect your anxiety level?

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