The Theological Virtues-continued

In the face of disillusion, despair, disgust, can we talk people out of their worries? Or can we stand with them? That may not change their situation, but it suggests we have hope that these developments are not the last word (#1818).

In the face of lost dreams, unmet goals, even death can we explain that noble efforts are important? Can we encourage dreams, and stand with them? In not turning away, we share our faith that the present-day death of dreams is not the final word (#1814,1816).

In the face of deep detachment, a fear of being close, a fear of trusting after being betrayed, can we talk those who have been crushed into trying again? We can understand. We can allow them to see us in pain too (#1822-1823). By not quitting and not trying to explain away complex problems, we may lead those in pain to wonder why we are not giving up (#1826).

God has not let defeat, disgrace or death be the last word. This is the stuff of human pain. It is where we are most like Christ (#1823-1824, 1827). The Resurrection means that life is stronger than death (#1825).

The theological virtues are difficult to pursue today because the stakes are high; the need is great, the critics are quick. Yet, when we use them, even if it feels frightening, we are people of faith. If we act in faith, we will inspire hope. The audience is scared too, but they may follow our lead simply because we are acting as if this God-message is true. Most foundational, they will not be able to dismiss the very human signal that we care enough to act for them, to love them (#1826).