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By Chris Sparks, Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., August 12, 2020
These are the times that try men’s souls. — Thomas Paine, The Crisis.
As 2020 grinds along, it seems more and more things are falling apart. Violence here, injustice there, willful blindness from otherwise brilliant people when it’s not convenient to their politics or their own self-interest, a great muck of corruption across the globe, on and on — the list grows ever longer every day.
We’re living through one of the great turning points in human history right now, as countless memes, funny videos, and other ephemera of the internet have noted. Future scholars will make their careers studying the pandemic of 2020 and its consequences, as well as the huge array of geopolitical, culture, and social shifts that have framed all of our lives.
In the midst of all this, it’s easy to get frightened. At some point in the face of this oncoming tide of massive transformation, of staggering death tolls, hugely consequential decisions at all levels of society, and a world more and more divided, fear becomes contagious. ….