Penultimate words: reality and hope

In its Year-End Reflection, the study centre Cristianisme i Justícia invites us to recover the principles of reality and hope as guidance in the life of people, communities and institutions.

This 29 December Cristianisme i Justícia is publishing its Year-End Reflection.  As usual, the study centre is closing the year with an overview of events in recent months, singling out threats but also searching for cracks that allow a glimpse of alternatives for a better future.  On this occasion, it is launching an appeal to recover the principle of reality and the priniciple of hope as a way of facing up to the present moment.

In its text, Cristianisme i Justícia asks us to rehabilitate reality in all of its senses and to be aware, for example, of the full significance of evictions, misogynist violence, energy shortage, the administrative illegality in which thousands of migrants find themselves, or the deaths of over 30 000 elderly in old people’s homes since the start of the pandemic.

The principle of reality is necessary because it “compels us to raise real questions about the causes.”  Causes which we find in “structures of injustice and….a culture that justifies this reality, which hides it.”  The text warns us that if there is little doubt we have never spoken as we do now of emotional well-being, never have we forgotten as we do now its connection to reality.  “To try to address well-being in an abstract way, without substantiating it in our way of living, consuming or sharing, in our social policies, in our housing, education or international co-operation….amounts to nothing more than running away from the root of the problems.”

Cristianisme i Justícia asks us, therefore, not to fall into the temptation of escapism, of shutting ourselves off in what is familiar and safe.  On the contrary, it asks us to open our senses and become receptive to painful experiences, but also to experiences that emerge from life and solidarity.

Alongside the principle of reality and in opposition to doubt, it proposes the principle of hope, because “the pain and distress of a situation like the one we are living in can end up overpowering and paralysing us” and we can run the risk of searching for answers in versions of nihilism, negationism or neo-fascism.  A hope which in the case of Christianity is grounded in the faith and trust that another world is possible.  A hope which unfolds in the testimony and experience of people and groups from all over the world who “have relinquished their fears, their comfort and safeness, and who have moved in the direction of others in an authentic transformation, at times from faith, at times out of pure humanism.”  The text concludes that whatever small step forward feeds hope and makes it more legitimate, because it shows us that “reality can change and moral evil is not inevitable.”  

Download the reflection