July 25, 2014

Praying for Christopher Hitchens

George Michalopulos sent this piece along that offers a prayer for Christopher Hitchens, one of the more well known “New Atheists.” I’m not a Hitchens basher although I’m a Hitchens critic, (i.e.: How can anyone really believe that Troskyite Marxism is defensible?). I’ve listened to some of the debates between Hitchens and Dinesh D’Souza and, while D’Souza offers an adequate defense of Christianity, I’m not sure the apologetics of the pre-post-Christian age work that well anymore. More on this some other time. Hitchens’ over-reliance on the philosophical materialism of Marx, Freud and Darwin, is not sufficient either, but I believe that even in his disparagement of Christianity, he has not embraced the darkness of nihilism. Both men seem to be arguing for a cultural certainty that may no longer exist. In any case, I agree with the author of the piece: Hitchens may be someone to pray for. God is merciful after all.

Source: Matt&PatArchbold

Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens

I know he doesn’t want me to and I know he thinks it is useless but, Christopher Hitchens, I am praying for you.

Christopher Hitchens can be smart, acerbic, funny, mean, insightful, and thick.  He defends Western Civilization while, via his outspoken atheism, semantically chipping away at the Christian pillars that support it.  In short, Christopher Hitchens is a frustrating person.  Christopher Hitchens is also very sick.  He writes…

I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.

There are no good cancers to have, but if you were forced to make a list of ‘good’ cancers to have, esophageal cancer would not be on the list.

I know he doesn’t want them, but he needs our prayers.

It is understandable that many have seen Hitchens as the enemy, a leading proponent of a proud and energetic atheism.  He has often used his considerable wit to mock religion and in particular Christianity.  In doing so, he has been an intellectual enabler of many non-intellectuals helping them to be grossly comfortable with their own impiety.  These are not good things.

But Christopher Hitchens is not the enemy.  God created him because He loves him.  We need to love him too.  We should continue to oppose his wrongheaded and destructive ideas at every turn using our gifts, to whatever degree we have been granted them, to undo what Hitchens has done with his.

But we can and should do something more.  Something that he can’t or rather won’t do.  We can pray for him. And pray for him some more.  Let’s love him as much as we can.  Let’s us love him with a patient unrequited love.

For him I will pray for very different things.

I pray for his healing.

I pray for his soul.

I pray he doesn’t suffer much while knowing suffering is unavoidable.

I pray that that he realizes the redemptive power of suffering when united with the suffering of our Lord.

I pray that in whatever times he has left, and I pray that is a long time, that he puts his myriad gifts into the service of the Lord.

I pray that he realizes the love of the God who created him.

I must confess that I smile when I ponder what a wonderful Christian Hitchens would make if ever he were to believe.  I hope he doesn’t take offense at that.  I often wonder the same thing about myself.

Comments

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    Scott Pennington says:

    I must confess that I’ve always liked Christopher Hitchens. Part of that is because he has not hesitated to turn on the left regarding the threat to civilization posed by resurgent Islam. Part of it is because, frankly, I’ve never taken his rants against religion seriously at all.

    It should be a kind of starting postulate that no one really knows what happens after death and that no one alive knows first hand what heaven is like or has seen God while in the flesh (excepting Christ, of course). There are those who have seen visions, etc. Many visions may be true, some false. Who can really say?

    The thing that persuades a person regarding Christianity (and perhaps other religions) is that somehow they see that it “works”. It has a positive effect on them and others by whatever criteria they evaluate positiveness. After all, that is the only real evidence one way or the other that we at this point in time really have. Seeing the practical value of the religion, we accept the rest of it. Either that or we were born into it and never seriously questioned it.

    I will pray for Christopher Hitchens. I think he has been fighting his battle against religion on the wrong front. Rather than go on about all the mystery cults that featured ressurections and children of dieties, he might investigate what benefits that believers say they derive from faith. He might even then begin to appreciate why we believe – - especially considering that materialism is not too comforting when one is faced with untimely demise.

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    cynthia curran says:

    Good point about Hitchens, he isn’t the usual atheists out there. He is probably more critical of islam than christianity. He use to appear a lot on Buckely’s firing line about 20 years ago. And one can go on and on about comparisions of mystery religions and early christianity in the Roman Empire but none of them stated that this happen in Caesar Augustus’s day or Tiberus Caesar’s reign. What is interesting is the pagan historian Thallus explain away the darkness and earthquakes of 33 A.D. which he dated according to the olympian year as an esciple of the sun rather than anything divne according to Church father Africanius Julius. Anyway, all the historian evidence usually doesn’t persuade people as much as if people really believe that God interacts in their life.

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    cynthia curran says:

    I mean the eclipse of the sun and Julius Afrancius.

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    George Michalopulos says:

    Scott, Cynthia, excellent points. Scott, you encapsulate my points entirely. One of the things I’ve always admired about Hitchens was the courage of his convictions. He has shown no hesitation to skewer the Left when it deserves it (which is almost always). In this, he is very much like Camille Paglia, a self-described Lesbian atheist, whose critique of modern culture is surprisingly conservative. I’ve found both to be refreshingly honest and free of cant and willing to go where the evidence leads them.

    I guess I can say that the only thing that bothers me about Hitchens is that I detect more than a little intellectual dishonesty when it comes to Christianity and its modern eminences (e.g. Mother Theresa, etc.). Let’s be honest, he tends to go off the rails. This has led me to suspect that he is very much aware of its truth or at the very least, its explanatory power. That it’s not a Greco-Oriental mystery cult, or a totalitarian enterprise like Islamic jihadism.

    Regardless, I intend to pray for him.

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      George Michalopulos says:

      Scott, if I may add regarding life after death, the great Hitchens-D’Souza debate has produced an excellent volume which I highly recommend: “Life After Death.” D’Souza provides an excellent scientific case for the continuation of consciousness after physical death. In my opinion, it comports rather well with the Orthodox idea of the Toll-house phenomenon.

      Father is right however, despite his atheism, Hitchens has never bought into the nihilism that is at heart of true atheism and its attendent offspring. He is very much a man of the West, one who unfortunately, cannot see that the West was incubated within the womb of the Church.

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        Fr. John says:

        Paglia is much better at explaining that last point. She has a Catholic personality; what I like about her is her brilliant wit, goofy humor and good-naturedness, none of which I would ascribe to Hitchens. Maybe Camille’s wacky world works better for her than Chris’. You know his brother, a Moscow news correspondent,is a Russian Orthodox convert. He probably has the whole Synod praying for his benighted brother.

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        Scott Pennington says:

        George,

        I read some reviews of D’Souza’s book and it looks interesting. I’ll look for it.

        For me, faith in God (and in Christianity) now springs largely from a sense of the supreme value of optimism. Optimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as is pessimism. When we were little if we did not think we could get up and walk we wouldn’t have tried and thus never would have walked until we changed our attitude. Most of life is like that.

        Countless times in my life, optimism (or lack thereof) has been the decisive factor in how things proceeded. It is out of that experience that I find support for faith in God and the afterlife. Given that none of us know for sure what is on the other side, since none of us has truly experienced death, we have the opportunity to decide what to believe about it given a total lack of experiential data. I suspect that our attitude toward the afterlife, broadly speaking, is a projection of what is already inside us. So those who choose to be optimistic will be more open to the idea of eternal life and those who are prone to pessimism may be more open to the notion that all ends at death. Life has demonstrated to me that it’s better to be positive.

        I lose nothing by assuming the best. If I’m wrong and consciousness ceases at death, I’m certain that I’m happier in this life believing as I do regardless of what does or doesn’t happen in the next.

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          Michael Bauman says:

          Scott, I am not an optimistic person (just ask my wife). Two things determine why I am a Christian. One is rational, the other solely experiential.

          1. The rational: Chrisitanity provides the only acceptable explanation (to my way of thinking and reasoning) for evil in the world and the only way to be victorious over it. But my reasoning is founded upon a tacit assumption that the loving creator God described in the Bible is real, i.e. faith.

          2. The experiential: My own encounters with Jesus Christ, the saints and the angels.

          I have long felt that unless one has the experiential, the rational will not long survive the vissitudes of this world and the demonic temptations. The rational does nothing to counter my melancholic disposition. In fact, it often supports it.

          Sorry, but you seem to be saying that Christianity is akin to the ‘power of positive thinking’. If that is all it is, we live in vain, our hope is in vain and we are the most piteous creatures on earth. It is the experienced power of the resurrection, that gives me hope. Nothing else.

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            Scott Pennington says:

            Michael,

            By experiential I mean what you yourself have personally experienced with your own senses. If by that standard you have experienced a resurrection I’d be interested in knowing it.

            Visions are a different matter. Perhaps they are trustworthy, perhaps not. But you should consider that those in non-Christian religions experience visions in accord with their non-Christian beliefs as well. So, in and of themselves, visions aren’t too reliable an indicator.

            I didn’t say that Christianity is the power of positive thinking. What I said is that optimism is very powerful in this life from cradle to grave and therefore it makes perfect sense to me to extend this optimism to embrace the Christian vision of the afterlife. Optimism seems to me to be a clearer reflection of truth than pessimism or melancholy-ness (if that’s a word). Optimism releases potential, pessimism stiffles it. In that sense, optimism is actually more “real” since very often we could do a thing but do not attempt it since we do not believe we can.

            The talk about “hope in vain”, I assume, echoes St. Paul. At least that is what it reminds me of. But, of course, St. Paul was addressing those who denied the bodily resurrection of Christ. Elsewhere he commends faith, hope and charity as the greatest virtues.

            What Christ Himself was essentially saying by speaking about faith in the amount of a mustard seed and chiding his followers as being, “ye of little faith”, is that optimism is essential and pessimism is self defeating. I’ve even read translations that render the phrase “of little faith” as “pessimist”. Hope, optimism, faith, trust, etc. are all just slightly different aspects of an underlying positive appreciation of reality. Without it, we are helpless and despondent.

            The problem is that this positive appreciation of reality does not always come naturally to us and is more scarce in some than others. It is thus necessary to become convinced of its power as a fundamental principle. Then, even when we don’t “feel like” seeing or trying to see the positive, we can do so on principle. The thought might be something like, “I don’t feel like there’s any hope for X, but I know it’s just a feeling and that my view of reality gets warped by negative emotion.”

            Much in life depends on how successful we are at controlling or guiding our emotions. Much of our energy comes from enthusiasm (another facet of positive appreciation). Recalling and using the power of optimism is a fairly reliable method (at least in my experience) for conquering negative emotions like anxiety, hopelessness, despondency, etc. – - things that hinder progress, steal energy and effort.

            This is often dismissed by those that have a tendency to melancholy, despondency, etc. as “Panglossian” or something to that effect – - and thus reinforces their own captivity in negativity. Most of what we fear never happens. Most of what we worry about is worry in vain since there is always something to worry about if we choose to do so – - an infinite number of things, in fact. And with the “wind at our backs”; i.e., enthused, we are capable of dramatically more than when we are dragging our feet from being doubtful, anxious or despondent.

            Optimism as a tactic is summoning the courage to argue with your own automatic premises and assumptions when they don’t encourage you toward your goals – - daring to believe the positive version. It’s not magic but it is profoundly powerful. But in order to work, it has to be arrational; i.e., taken as an unquestioned assumption. Since it has proven its value to me in my experience, that’s not too difficult for me. But I do need reminding from time to time.

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          Eliot Ryan says:

          Scott, you need to read the lives of the saints. Seriously …optimism alone is not going to work when harsh times will come our way. Very different books from different periods and places reveal a different reality, the true reality. See this example:

          SCHEMONUN NILA

          During the prison life on the Solovetsky Islands, a Russian saint, Reverend Nilus Stolobensky appeared to Mother Yevfrosinya. “I was once taking a walk in the forest,” she told her spiritual children, “when suddenly I saw an Elder-monk. He came up to me, gave me communion bread and an icon with his image. “Who is this?” I asked, pointing at the icon. “Nilus Stolobensky,” answered the Elder and added that when I would become a schema-nun, I will carry his name.” That, by the way, is what did happen later. Before Yevfrosinya had time to come to her senses the Elder disappeared as if he dissolved in the air.

          The Mother of God was all the time helping her. Here’s one incident that occurred with Mother Yevfrosinya. In autumn when the young nun went out in search for mushrooms and berries for the priests, she got lost in the forest. She began to pray to the Mother of God, and all of a sudden she saw a wooden deck. How did it get there in those backwoods, she wondered, but, nonetheless, she used it. The deck took her exactly to the place she knew. After thanking the Blessed Virgin for having indicated her the way to safety, she looked back – the deck was gone, it had disappeared.

          At another time, when the nun could not get over a channel, she suddenly saw a small bridge that had disappeared immediately after she got over to the other side of the channel.

          In other words, the Lord and the Mother of God helped the young nun all the time on her way of the cross.

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            Scott Pennington says:

            Actually, Eliot, I would rather rely on optimism than on the possibility that a vision that may or may not be from God will come to me. I see those true visions as miracles of God. I have read the lives of a number of saints. But in this context I have to comment that for each person that experienced such visions, there are very many who were just as faithful who during hard times did not experience such visions. Also, there are those who have been deceived by evil powers using false visions of the divine.

            Very often, optimism alone can get you through hard times, religion or not, if you are adamant in your optimistic attitude. There are many, many people who – - whether Christian, non-Christian, athiest, etc. – - managed to get through hard times by never losing hope and always staying postive, no matter what. There’s no way to calculate the number, but I’m pretty confident that it is greater than the number of people who have had true visions from God.

            I do not suggest that optimism alone, however, will get you into heaven.

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          Michael Bauman says:

          Scott, no visions–I’m not even sure one could call them sensory really, just an undeniable presence–experential encounters. Most often during the Eucharist. I am told these are not particularly unusual, certainly nothing to make me prideful. I am always quite careful to submit them to my priest. They have never directed me to any other place but to prayer, repentance and thanksgiving.

          Resurrection: a few years ago, my wife of 24 years died during the midst of Lent. Tragic. Yet, there were so many experietial encounters around her death for myself and others that I can’t really name them all. The greatest of these, perhaps, was during Pascha about a month later. Suffice it to say that the Paschal Toparian was never more real to me and will never be the same again.

          Christ is Risen, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!.

          If in some way Jesus Christ is not real beyond our own state of mind and heart, what do we really have? I cannot say how those encouters come for others, I don’t really know how or why they come to me but that they are real I have no doubt.

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            Scott Pennington says:

            Michael,

            I think somehow some people who have read my comments on this article have gotten the impression that I don’t believe in miracles or that heaven is real or that Christ and His saints are real. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was explaining the reasons why I believe, not the substance thereof.

            People decide to believe in things they can’t perceive with their senses for a reason. We just don’t choose Christianity or Islam or Sikhism from among a smorgasboard because somehow we just “know” it is true and the others aren’t. We choose to have faith for reasons other than the substance of that faith. Only when other factors convince us that this creed is true do we choose to trust in it; i.e., have faith.

            So yes, I believe that the afterlife, Christ, etc. are real, not just some projection of my own psyche. It’s just that the reason I do believe they are real is that it fits with all that experience has shown me in my life about the power of belief or optimism itself. Such power indicates to me that God gives a host of reasons to be hopeful at every stage in life. It makes perfect sense to me then that He provides for an afterlife.

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    Fr. Johannes Jacobse says:

    I didn’t know Peter Hitchens converted to Orthodoxy. Here’s an article the Daily Mail ran in 2007:

    Hitchens vs Hitchens

    By PETER HITCHENS


    Family differences: Christopher Hitchens and Peter have disagreed about politics and about the invasion of Iraq – now they are arguing about God

    Read the article on the London Daily Mail website.

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    Greg says:

    Peter Hitchens is Anglican. (At least if wikipedia is correct: Peter Hitchens.)

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    cynthia curran says:

    Well, I’m been reading the book the Lion and the Unicorn about Disreali and Gladstone. And Gladstone was an Anglican Evangelical that hade problems with sexual tempation for one many years of his marriage he was unable to have sexual relations wife since she frequently became Pregnant and in Victorian England almost 9 months of the preganancy one couldn’t have sexual relations with one’s wife. He confessed about having a pornography problem and having sex with prostitutes he was trying to save from prostutution and feeling very guilty to the point he whipped himself. I don’t believe that this help him with his sins. He was involved with a christian group that was trying to help the poor and social outcasts. Now Gladstone was stupid to volunteer to help prostitutes in the first place since it led to sins such as impure thoughts and adultery. Atheists and liberal protestants would today rail at a him since he was not suppose to do such things and state that anything he did politically is not valid since he was not living up to his beliefs.

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    Scott:

    Your analysis (4.1.2.1.1 & 4.1.2.1.2) seems to have to do more with psychology and positive thinking than it has to do with Orthodoxy. You call the sighting of saints visions …

    I recall an article I read more than twenty years back. I have not a clue where I found it back then. It was saying that during the war people were seen going through walls and locked doors, that Einstein discovered invisibility but humanity was not ready to learn of this knowledge and use it. How thoughtful, humanity was ready for the atomic bomb but not ready to handle invisibility!

    Much later, when I started to read the lives of the saints I read about the saints appearing to sick people and healing them. You can call it a vision, but the healing was very real. The healing, most of the time, cured patients whose doctors had given up.

    Visions you say … is the devil real then?

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    Hey Scott: keep it short! Read it three times and get read of all that is not relevant before you hit the submit button.

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      Scott Pennington says:

      Eliot,

      Thank you for your editorial suggestion; however, we will not always agree on what is relevant.

      If you’d bothered to read what I actually wrote, you would know that I distinguished between true visions given by God and those that arise from our own psyches or are of demonic origin. The devil is most certainly real. Evil, however, has no ontological reality. It is the absence of good much like darkness is the absence of light.

      Nothing whatsoever that I wrote above should give you the impression that I do not think that God allows or causes saints to appear to the faithful or that other miraculous occurences associated with such appearances don’t happen. I’m sure they do. However, your comment was that optimism alone will not get us through hard times and you suggest that God will help us through with visions or miracles. I have to point out that maybe He will and maybe He won’t. It might be that we are meant to be martyrs, to suffer some terrible fate or to die what appears to us in this limited existence to be a senseless death. No sense in dwelling on that but it is certain God doesn’t issue visions and miracles to all people to save them from every calamity, or even to all the faithful to save them from every calamity. I trust He will help, but just from observation I have to say that it isn’t highly likely that we’ll be graced with a true vision or miracle. It is certainly possible. I don’t rely on it though.

      I don’t rely on it because it is out of my control. God decides how He will help. What I can influence or control is my own attitude. If you think your own attitude is irrelevant since divinely placed bridges will appear out of nowhere whenever obstacles arise, that’s your own affair.

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    Elder Cleopa of Romania

    If, however, by the command of God, one of the saints or angels wanted to appear to us in a material way, there is no transgression in this, for we didn’t desire this or seek after this. Yet, even in such cases, it is necessary for us to be very careful, humble, prudent and full of the fear of God, for knowing that Satan also assumes the guise of an angel, it may well be a fantasy of the Devil (2 Cor. 11:14-15). Of course, even when the vision is from God it is better for us not to receive it. For if we do this with humility God will not be sorrowful because He knows that we are taking heed not to accept within us the wolf instead of the shepherd. We don’t, indeed, have need of seeing the saints and angels, but only to pray with faith and internal vision. Saint Neilos the Ascetic says “Blessed is that intellect which arrives at the point of worshiping God without giving shape to His form within itself.”

    We certainly should not ask to see saints or angels. It is far more beneficial for us to see our own sins.

    I sense in your post some sort of self-reliance. You do not rely on things that are out of your control. I can assure you that if you’ll ever sink into a deep depression you won’t be able to cure it with optimism. You’ll have to implore God to help you!

    Regarding divinely placed bridges, here is what St Theophan the Recluse says:

    Nothing comes without effort. The help of God is always ready and near but is given only to those who seek and work, and only to those seekers who, after putting al their powers to the test, then cry out with their whole heart: “Lord, help us!”

    St. Nila did exactly that. She did put all her effort and having lost all hope to be saved she implored the Mother of God:

    Once Mother Yevfrosinya had nearly departed this life while picking cranberries at a swamp. She fell into a swamp. Having lost all hope to be saved she implored the Mother of God to help her. Suddenly, without knowing how, she found herself on a tussock. When the priests found out how the young nun got the precious cranberries for them, they forbade her to go to the marshes and risk her life.

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    Scott Pennington says:

    “I can assure you that if you’ll ever sink into a deep depression you won’t be able to cure it with optimism.”

    Essentially, what therapists use to treat depression is a combination of antidepressant medication, exercise and a therapy which teaches the patient to use their mind to have a positive effect on their emotions. For severe depression the medication is the most important part in the short term.

    Having experienced depression first hand (about 20 years ago), I can assure you that the mind is the best tool one has to influence emotions. This is not at all mutually exclusive with Christianity. In fact, there is a lot of what moderns would call psychotherapy built right into the Bible and Tradition. When people recite psalms during times of distress, they are not only praying but exercising emotional control.

    Self-reliance is a virtue so long as you do not rely exclusively on yourself. I’m happy you pray and rely on God. However, when you speak as though God were going to miraculously clear the way for you and therefore you do not need to cultivate a positive attitude, I think you err. He might. He might also want you to learn how to persevere with joy in your heart even in adverse circumstances during which He chooses to refrain from performing miracles. We should not be so presumptuous as to believe that we should not exercise efforts to develop emotional management since this is “self-reliance” and God will take care of everything. Have faith, do what you can (and that is where optimism is vital) and don’t tempt Him. By all means pray for miracles. Occasionally He may grant them. But if He chooses not to, although you still rely ultimately on Him, you have to motivate yourself to persevere without the miracle. This is by far the more frequent situation.

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      Eliot Ryan says:

      Scott: ” … when you speak as though God were going to miraculously clear the way for you and therefore you do not need to cultivate a positive attitude, I think you err.”

      Cultivate positive attitude? Let me put it this way:
      “If Christ is risen, nothing else matters. And if Christ is not risen – nothing else matters.” Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006)

      Scott, I do not need to cultivate anything! Why? Because Christ is Risen!

      For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
      (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

      I choose to read and pay close attention to the writings of the saints because they reveal to us what is unseen. I do not ignore miracles when I read about them in books. I definitely do not pray for miracles! The one miracle I hope for is the forgiveness of my sins. I do not know from where did you get the idea that I pray. I was here all day writing comments.

      Christian hope is that there is life beyond the grave, that we will see again our loved ones who die in Christ. We choose to please God and to reject the short-term pleasures of sin. No sacrifice we make for Him can be too great. This is pretty much all you need to develop emotional management. This is how I persevere with joy in my heart even in adverse circumstances.
      If Christ is not risen, then life lacks purpose and death is hopeless.
      How do you cultivate your joy?

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        Scott Pennington says:

        Eliot,

        Do whatever you want. You’re not really paying attention anyway. If you are constantly full of energy and your belief about your own capacities and what you actually do happens to coincide with what you are indeed capable of – - that is if you are 100% most all the time, then my hat goes off to you. Most people are not regardless of whether they believe that Christ is risen. Even given that faith, most people who do believe suffer to some extent from anxiety, lack of confidence, occasional melancholy. Most people aren’t motivated and enthusiastic anywhere close to 100% of the time. If repeating to yourself that “Christ is risen and nothing else matters” makes you enthused and motivated, more power to you. Your focus on the other world almost to the exclusion of this one seems a bit gnostic and anti-Incarnational. But that’s just my take.

        “Christian hope is that there is life beyond the grave, that we will see again our loved ones who die in Christ.”

        That is part of Christian hope. But another part of Christian hope is that Christ, in His Incarnation, invaded the world and brought us the possibility of theosis in the world. Overcoming death by death is not just something that happens in the next life. It happens in this life by overcoming spiritual death. He said if you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move mountains. What has this got to do with the afterlife?

        Eliot, you have tunnel vision. You narrowly focus on part of Christian hope and ignore the rest. Perhaps this life is too painful for you to find joy in it from living in faith that God’s boundless energy will sustain you. Perhaps you need to exclude activity in the world from your hopes and only focus on the afterlife because that is the only hope you see.

        Go your way in peace.

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    Eliot Ryan says:

    Scott:
    When severe, anxiety, lack of confidence, melancholy and “our own psyches” are of demonic origin. Self-control alone very likely won’t work. Self-control is a very good thing, it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

    Yesterday I noticed that the discussion is on the “Praying for Christopher Hitchens” page. Christopher certainly needs God’s help. Maybe our discussion will be of use to him. I read in a couple of books that a saint, after dying and going to heaven, he or she is able to help people on earth. Actually it is even more easier for them to help us after death.

    Anyway, it was really nice talking to you. Your last post actually made me laugh. Be assured that I am very happy and I do not focus only on the afterlife. Lord’s command found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” means to love and appreciates all that surrounds you. If you do that you cannot be unhappy.

    I am not going anywhere … Cheers!

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      Scott Pennington says:

      Eliot,

      I wasn’t suggesting you go elsewhere. It has been good discussing this with you.

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    cynthia curran says:

    Well, David Horowitz, the ex-leftist and child of 1930′s communists wrote an interesting two part series on Hitchens. Anyway, the left treated him pretty bad when he turn against Sidney Bluthemial(sorry) spelling and the far left turn against him when he supported the us involvemnt in the Balkins. Granted, some on the right didn’t support it either. Hitchens mother killed herself with her liberal protestant lover, maybe explains his hated of religion.

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