Reflections by Bill Buckley and Pope Benedict XVI on our Judeo-Christian/Western Civilization tradition: “…how deep we fall…there is always hope…the one who has hope lives differently…”

William Kristol writes:

…Bill was a complicated man. In him, admirable but disparate qualities coexisted easily. Bill was at once remarkably ecumenical — and knowledgeably discriminating. He had a taste for profound reflection about man and God — and for fierce polemicizing against socialists and appeasers. He had a real joie de vivre — but also, perhaps like any thoughtful person, a streak of melancholy. He appreciated the intellectual arguments for pessimism, but he never yielded to the mortal sin of despair…

Peter Robinson writes:

…”We deem it the central revelation of Western experience,” William F. Buckley wrote in 1960, “that man cannot ineradicably stain himself, for the wells of regeneration are infinitely deep….Even out of the depths of despair, we take heart in the knowledge that it cannot matter how deep we fall, for there is always hope.”

(And, as an example of hope, read the rest of Robinson’s post about Gorbachev.)
A more scholarly discussion of hope and its connection to faith can be found in Pope Benedict XVI’s second encyclical, Saved in Hope, which includes these words:

…According to the Christian faith, “redemption” – salvation – is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present…The Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known – it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life…

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