When I confessed last week that I had for much of 2020 struggled against the sin of despair, my confessor replied: “I’m struggling with it myself. 90% of the confessions I hear these days include that one. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m shocked.”
It was my turn to be shocked – and intensely relieved. It wasn’t just my own spiritual weakness that was to blame. It wasn’t just a matter of my own acedia.
“So,” I replied – I had never met the man, so I had no notion of his politics – “the lockdowns are working. This is going to be a major challenge for us. But good. There won’t be so many of us, when we come out of this. But we’ll be stronger.”
He nodded. “We can hope so. The Church will be different, that’s for sure. Our bishop has told us that when we are through this, things will be much different. The numbers won’t be anything like what they once were.”
If you’ve been feeling despondent at the state of the world, not only do you have good reasons, but you are not alone. You – you personally, you specifically – you have been enduring a massive, sustained attack. If you’ve made it this far, you are already battle hardened, and are likely to be able to go the distance.
You are likely, in other words, to be able to avoid falling into despair. You are likely to be able to persevere until the end. You are likely to enjoy your own personal Easter.
So, let us be of good cheer, all of us. The Great War is over, after all, and our side has won. The Gate of Heaven is open. Let’s keep on toward it, following our Captain. Farther up and farther in!
Christ is Risen! So then may we Rise. Let’s do it, no?
A Happy Easter to you, all.