The Hope of Advent

Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved. – Psalm 80

Each month, I am privileged to do a half-hour segment on host Eric Gajewski’s TradCatKnight podcast. While I am not a traditionalist Catholic, Eric invites me on to talk about issues impacting the Church and the world—the kind of things I write about regularly on this blog.

Last week I was particularly troubled, as we talked about the recent elections and their potentially negative impact on the pro-life cause, and then about the ever-growing threat to world peace, freedom and security posed by the brutal and aggressive totalitarian Communist regime of China. I felt somewhat disheartened, even despairing—until Eric reminded me that our hope is in Christ, and in the intervention of our Blessed Mother.

Then he invited me to conclude with some thoughts on the Advent season; and I responded by picking up on that message of trust in God that he had just pulled me back to, amid all the distressing, even frightening developments in the temporal world.  

I noted that Advent is the season of hope—our ultimate hope, in the birth of our Savior, who alone can give us that peace that the world cannot give; and who promises us, in the midst of all our earthly tribulations, redemption with Him in the glory of God.

Then at daily Mass last Saturday, the words above, that we prayed in the Responsorial Psalm, reminded me yet again that our hope is in our Lord, not in earthly leaders, or policies, or systems of government.

Yes, as Catholics we are called to be involved in the affairs of the “earthly city”: to work to protect life, promote justice, advance peace, defend freedom, alleviate human suffering and improve the human condition.

But as we do so, we are well reminded, as I was last week, not to despair when our efforts seem not to bear fruit, when injustice and evil seem triumphant.

We are reminded by the words of the Psalm to turn to God, seek His face, pray for the faith to put our hope and trust in Him; knowing that only then shall we, and our troubled world, be saved.

What better time than Advent to renew that hope.

Published by Rick Hinshaw

I have spent the last three decades in primarily Catholic communications work: as a reporter, news editor, columnist, and for eight years editor of The Long Island Catholic; several years as co-host and co-producer of The Catholic Forum program on the diocesan Telecare channel; two stints as Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; and a year as Associate Director for Communications at the New York State Catholic Conference. I also served for three years as Public Information Officer for the late Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, a staunchly Catholic and active pro-life leader. Over that more than 30-year career, I have gained an ever deeper understanding of and appreciation for the moral and social teachings of our Church. In my various roles I have lent my voice to articulating those teachings and their applicability to the critical issues of our time. That is what I intend to do with this blog. Moreover, at a time when our political and social disagreements seem to have degenerated into constant vitriol, vilification, verbal abuse and intolerance of those who hold differing opinions, I hope that this blog can contribute, in some small way, to a restoration of respectful debate and discussion, where we can defend our beliefs forcefully without demonizing any who disagree with us. As a Catholic commentator, that is what I have always striven to do--remembering that even as we are called to stand firmly in defense of our Church, her teachings, and our right to be heard in the public square, we are also called always to be the face of Christ to the world--most especially to those with whom we disagree.

2 thoughts on “The Hope of Advent

  1. Thank you for your reflection Rick and recognizing our too often weakness of faith in these very troubled times. I am often reassured with this Divine Mercy closing prayer:

    Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.


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