As Christians, our hope resides in Jesus alone

Re: “Papal reflections on hope bring light to the darkness” (Openers, Aug. 27-Sept. 2).

The distinction Pope Francis makes between hope and optimism is important. Christian hope is neither positive thinking nor a sanguine temperament. Jesus didn’t say, “Don’t worry; be happy. Everything will turn out just fine.” For most people, it won’t. The wide and well-populated road they are on is leading them to destruction, while the path to life is narrow and found by few (see Mt 7:13-14).

During long seasons of peace and prosperity, it’s easy to let earthly goals become our first priority: our careers, a new house or car, our children’s success, a secure retirement, etc. Yet none of these are worthy objects of our whole life’s longing; not one will outlast the hour of our death.

When earthly supports crumble, only those who are firmly rooted in Christ have an anchor that doesn’t fail, because it is set in eternity (see Heb 6:17-20). There is only one who is worthy of all our hope, the one who does not change, Christ Jesus. Any hope that is not grounded in him is a false confidence. “Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 1:13).

Margret Meyer, Jacksonville, Florida

Charitable giving

Re: “Church responds as Harvey wreaks havoc in Texas” (News Analysis, Sept. 10-16).

The terrible hurricane in Texas has grabbed the hearts of Americans, and people are responding admirably. But people need to be reminded that there are a lot of other charitable causes that may suffer because of a lack of coverage, and their good deeds and financial support may get lost in the shuffle.

Craig Galik, Duquesne, Pennsylvania

North Korea

Re: “International crises, and the danger of noisy bombast” (Essay, Sept. 10-16).

Russell Shaw suggests that President Donald Trump has, by his language, escalated North Korea’s threats to attack the United States and has caused an international crisis. Shaw’s attempt to place the blame at President Trump’s door is not supported by the facts. The Kim Jong Il and now the Kim Jong Un regimes have, in fact, been escalating their threats to attack the United States long before Donald Trump became president.

Shaw fails to mention that President Trump offered to sit down and negotiate with Kim Jong Un but was rebuffed. Fifteen years of increasing threats from North Korea to annihilate the U.S. clearly puts the lie to Shaw’s not-so-subtle attempt to blame President Trump for the present state of affairs.

Georgia P. Dash, Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

Church teaching

Re: “When sex isn’t about sex” (Family Matters, Sept. 17-23).

The older I get, the more I understand the wisdom and depth of the teachings of our Catholic faith. Thank you for the clarity.

Nancy MacAfee, via online comment


Re: “Non-negotiables” (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 10-16).

This is in response to Deacon Joseph Keenan’s letter to the editor. Deacon Keenan states: “Whatever the writer assumes the five [non-negotiables] to be. ...”

I made no assumptions. I referred to the government not supporting the Church’s five non-negotiable principles. They are: abortion; euthanasia; embryonic stem-cell research; human cloning; homosexual “marriage.”

Does anyone think the government is going to uphold the Catholic position on these issues?

Beverly Steiner, Augusta, Kansas


Re: “Begotten Son” (Pastoral Answers, Sept. 3-9).

Due to an editor’s error, the headline in Msgr. Charles Pope’s column was incorrect. God the Father has no human nature. We regret the error.

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