Take Heart

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Take Heart

Catholic Writers on Hope in Our Time

Thirty beloved, American Catholic writers reflect on how they recognize, nourish, and sustain sources of hope in their own lives.

"Catholics in the United States may observe with chagrin that the church has had scant success in bringing our society in line with episcopal and papal . . . exhortations to economic solidarity and restraint of market capitalism, and demands that all life be respected, whether of unborn children, poor women and families, the ill and elderly, racial and ethnic 'minorities,' or recent immigrants. U.S. Catholics are still reeling from a sex abuse crisis that revealed systemic perversions of the church's authority structure, disrespect for the voices and needs of laity, particularly children, and incredible hypocrisy regarding sexual morality and responsibility. Catholic 'followers of Christ' may be tempted to despair that their church can effectively voice and represent the millions who are 'poor or in any way afflicted,' and may even feel that griefs, anxieties, and afflictions are being perpetrated by the church against its own members.

Yet hope gains a foothold in the daily lives and struggles of Catholics in the United States and around the world who take practical steps to improve the lives of those around them, nourish awareness of God's presence, and serve the common good. Hope is a practical virtue. Hope is not blind trust that 'everything will work out' despite all evidence to the contrary. Hope is no mere expectation of an 'eternal reward' despite the burdens and disappointments of life in the present. Neither does hope depend on or require some global assurance that on balance the world is becoming a better place, or that the church is making steady progress toward the reign of God that Jesus proclaimed to be 'at hand' more than two thousand years ago (Mark 1:14). Hope takes root in the human heart when we commit to make a difference for the good, and when we join with others to do our part. Even limited, local successes increase our confidence, energize our efforts, and enlarge our hope. Hope is not just an emotion or a mental state; it is a virtue that must be cultivated by active resistance to difficulty and by positive action for change."
Lisa Sowle Cahill, from Chapter 2 "Practice," pages 21-22


Introduction 1

Part One


1. Hope against Hope / Paul J. Griffiths
2. Practice / Lisa Sowle Cahill
3. Thickening Agent / Gregory Wolfe
4. The Work / James Martin, S.J.
5. Only Build / Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete
6. Shatter / Brian Doyle
7. Glow / Ann Wroe
8. At the Source / Paula Huston
9. Resistance / Richard K. Taylor
10. Eternal Spring / Peggy Rosenthal
11. Cause and Effect / Peter Kreeft
12. On the Way / Paul Elie

Part Two


13. Josie / Melissa Musick Nussbaum
14. Pilgrims / Lawrence S. Cunningham
15. Day by Day / Don Wycliff
16. Hearts Close to Cracking / Mike Heher
17. Faces / Paul Wilkes
18. The Crossroad / Phyllis Zagano
19. Hope in the Ruins / Colleen Carroll Campbell
20. Miracle / Cullen Murphy
21. The Longing / A. G. Harmon
22. Onward / Luke Timothy Johnson 

Part Three


23. Uncommon Hope / Kenneth L. Woodward
24. Guided / Joseph Pearce
25. Seen / Harold Fickett
26. Rejuvenate! / Timothy Radcliffe, O.P.
27. Incredible / Robert Royal
28. With Emily / Robert Imbelli
29. Charmed / Jeanine Hathaway
30. Full Spectrum / Philip Zaleski
31. Out and Back / Paul Mariani
32. L’Esperança / Valerie Sayers

Part Four


33. Gratitude / John Garvey
34. Zion / Ruth Langer
35. Recovery Movement / Martin E. Marty



Paperback / 240 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4

Hope, Christianity
Spirituality, Contemporary, Faith