a piece of staggering optimism

What is that staggering piece of optimism that this Advent and all Advents teach us as we journey to Christ? That none of our present problems, none of the problems to come are without an answer. And that answer does not come from man nor his political platforms. It comes from a God who offers us his own mind on every matter, what is just and what is merciful in each instance. We are not left alone to our own interpretations. We have a God who has revealed His will through the mind of one fully man and fully divine! A mind we have full access to understand.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that we may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

It is the mind of Christ from where we can see hope and joy and solution for all the problems and divisions of this old world, a world soon to be destroyed by divine edict and replaced with a Kingdom wherein goodness, righteous, justice, mercy and truth will rule. But for now, He solves our problems in two ways: A thorough reading of and obedience to His word and a taking in of his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity upon His altar.

If I am to answer the question, “How would Christ solve modern problems if He were on earth today?”, I must answer it plainly; and for those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars; and He does solve people’s problems exactly as He did when He was on earth in the more ordinary sense. That is, He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.

G.K. Chesterton, Our Tradition – If Christ Should Come

Can this Advent awaken the old joy of the saints from long ago within us to proclaim this wonderful news to all who are searching for it? Only we and God can answer that question as Chesterton reminds us below.

“The only question that remains is what was the joy of the old Christian ascetics of which their asceticism was merely the purchasing price. The mere possibility of the query is an extraordinary example of the way in which we miss the main points of human history. We are looking at humanity too close, and see only the details and not the vast and dominant features.

We look at the rise of Christianity, and conceive it as a rise of self-abnegation and almost of pessimism. It does not occur to us that the mere assertion that this raging and confounding universe is governed by justice and mercy is a piece of staggering optimism fit to set all men capering.

The detail over which these monks went mad with joy was the universe itself; the only thing really worthy of enjoyment. The white daylight shone over all the world, the endless forests stood up in their order.

The lightning awoke and the tree fell and the sea gathered into mountains and the ship went down, and all these disconnected and meaningless and terrible objects were all part of one dark and fearful conspiracy of goodness, one merciless scheme of mercy.

That this scheme of Nature was not accurate or well founded is perfectly tenable, but surely it is not tenable that it was not optimistic. We insist, however, upon treating this matter tail foremost. We insist that the ascetics were pessimists because they gave up threescore years and ten for an eternity of happiness. We forget that the bare proposition of an eternity of happiness is by its very nature ten thousand times more optimistic than ten thousand pagan saturnalias.” – G. K. Chesterton, Francis, Twelve Types, 1902


  1. I accept these words of Chesterton to be true,
    “ …He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.”
    There is so much noise in the world for me to always recognize “Him”. A weakness that fills me with doubt when I should depend on faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, just as Christ foretold there is the cacophony of satan and his dupes trying to dissuade and distract and there are those preaching false Christs with quick promises that don’t require change that mislead. Our faith is that in His time, in His way our problems are solved if we listen to and obey Him. That doesn’t mean we won’t have to wait and it doesn’t mean we won’t have troubles. But it does mean He is with us as we wait and in those troubles right along side us, helping us persevere.

      Liked by 1 person

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