Hope Renewed: at least in one heart
First, I confess to not being a believer in Christianity, and especially not in Catholicism, though I was born into that faith.
I lost my faith long ago when injustice and impunity struck at me directly and that particular God seemed nowhere to be found. The ground for that loss of faith had been long cultivated through the study of history, a study which found not only Christianity but all the Abrahamic faiths to be mired in corruption and violence and deceit and impunity and murder, and all of their cardinal sins. That ground had been fertilized by the actions of their adherents all around me, from day to day dishonesty, hypocrisy, intolerance and lack of feeling for fellow men, to the atrocity of celebrating genocidal holy days while bewailing a holocaust in the midst of perpetrating one. Still, although my own sons claim there is no difference between spirituality and religion, I believe my spirituality not only survived but thrived, predicated on ethical pillars and ethical acts, and an abiding social consciousness and love for my fellow men and women, a spirituality with room for a divine element though dressed in the simple garb of being, living and learning through mistakes, a divinity in the panentheistic mode of a multiversal consciousness, neither benevolent nor malevolent, but guided to self-awareness by nature’s processes, something I found beautiful.
On this day, sacred to mankind since before we attained humanity (assuming we already have), I find myself joyous from the most unexpected of sources, the new Catholic Pontiff who, if not perfect and probably not representing divinity, may well represent hope, and that is humanity’s most wonderful and enduring strength. And we desperately need hope, and examples, and an understanding that past mistakes do not destroy future possibilities for redemption. So even if he lacked courage in the past, perhaps the lessons he learned from that failure have molded the man we have today, and perhaps based on the personal growth involved and on his innate personality, it will be possible for him to evolve beyond the sexual prejudices and anachronistic traditions of his generation.
How ironic it would be if the church, which for so long has represented the worst in man, is now rehabilitated in the traditions of Latin America’s revolutionary clerics and manages to provide meaningful leadership in reawakening our social and cultural humanity.
Thank the divine for hope, and perhaps for its incarnation.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2013; all rights reserved