We live in a frantic age. Our society requires that we are constantly producing so that we are never without something to consume lest we look aroud and see the emptiness of it all. Our constant activity is an attempt to fill the void, to give our lives a meaning that fundamentally isn’t there. To be without doing is a fear that pervades our culture, and it is precisely because of a widespread belief that existence is random and there there is nothing beyond this randomness. In short, that there is no God.
This is not how a Christian should live. God is a given and our lives are directed toward life with Him after death. He has given us the natural world not just for the sake of this life, but to prepare us for the life to come. Arts and sciences, what we make and what we know, are both part of our path to our Maker who is Divine Reason. They take place in our families, our cities, and our nations, and these levels of society are there to ensure that our making and knowing do in fact point to something beyond our own consumption. The social teaching of the Catholic Church should be our roadmap, and the liturgy our compass. If we stay oriented to Christ through regular public prayer, that grace will pervade our actions. To dismiss this as mere idealism in favor of a so-called pragmatism is to live without hope. If our natural society cannot realistically point to the supernatural society of heaven, it is without meaning. If we divorce nature from grace instead of joining them in a complementary union, we risk a broken human family.
But what does this look like? How can we inform the messy practical activity of the present age with hope knowing that all we do will one day pass away? The life of a Christian should be full of activity that echoes into eternity where there is no distinction between being and doing. It should point to what is to come because we believe that it is, in fact, coming. For a Christian, hope is the regular order of business.
This means that in everything we do, we should give a reason for our hope. Let the wonder of science and the transcendence of art shine through when the weight of skepticism becomes too much for post-modern humanity. Let our politics be more than mere utilitarian procedure; rather let it be full of institutions great and small that promote the happiness and virtue of all members of the communities in which we live. This is what Peregrine Magazine seeks to explore: the ways in which hope enters into the everyday life of Christians. What are the institutions that promote the common good and how can we support them? In what ways can our domestic life prepare us and our children for this mission of hope? How can we use the knowledge of the world and the skill of craft to whet the appetite for the Beatific Vision?
Our magazine is just a small part of this mission, but I hope it can be of some use both to believers who seek a way forward and non-believers who can see on these pages the hope that Christians have; a hope in something firm and unchanging in this wild and unpredictable world.