The Despair of Nihilism and the Grace That Flows from the Fountain of Life
Why have we, as a nation, become an incubator for political divisions and murderous anger turned violent, with rage increasing in alarming ways among our young? How have we, as a people, come to a place where we think we must arm ourselves to the teeth for our own personal survival, and where some think we should even arm college students so they can be safe in their classrooms? How have we come to a place in our nation’s history where someone would think it important to suggest to the abbot of a monastery that he consider acquiring weapons to protect his monks?
If we think about it, there is a clear reason so many of our nation’s people have given themselves over to the despair of nihilism and surrendered to a viewpoint where traditional values and beliefs are dismissed as senseless and useless. With tears in my eyes I see young people coming to believe that conditions in the social organization of our world are so bad as to make destruction and violence desirable for its own sake. Many young people are living in such total despair as to believe death is the only way out. Deserving as they are, these young people have never been given the gift of hope. We have seen whole new generations educated in public schools where Christian morals and values have been forced out under the guise of separation of Church and State. This is a nation whose young people have been raised without hope, without God, and deprived of the moral, spiritual, and ethical basis that had, in the past, been the very foundation of Western Civilization.
Our problem is not that guns may be banned, but rather that we have removed God from our culture, replacing faith with materialism, greed, and hopelessness. The marked increase in the numbers of people suffering from mental illness is directly related to how we, as a nation, have banned God from our lives. People with no hope and deprived of the stable influence of a loving faith community are far more likely to slip into mental illness.
Now is the time we Christians must give witness to the truth that Christ is the Light of the World, and that true hope for the future is based on the reality of the Grace that flows forth from the Fountain of Life. We must become a light in the darkness so that our friends, neighbors, and fellow countrymen see the importance of a life centered in God. We must boldly lead a revival in our land. Only then will fear for the future be put to rest and our people once again be filled with love for each other, and hope for a future that is devoid of racism, violence, and poverty. We must send despair back to the abyss from which it came.
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery , Vashon Island, Washington
Note: Abbot Tryphon’s daily blog “The Morning Offering” can now be accessed at abbottryphon.com.