The phenomena you describe as the “revenge of conscience” seem a reality in our day.  I find it difficult to be optimistic about the course of events.  Forgive me if the question is too personal, but do you possess a melancholic nature?  And where do you think things are heading?


It is personal, but I get it so often -- especially from people tempted to melancholia -- that perhaps I should reply.  Both optimists and pessimists think they know what is going to happen on earth, but optimists think it will be good and pessimists think it will be bad.  By these definitions I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, because I don’t think I know is going to happen on earth.  By straight-line extrapolation, the near future looks bad, so it is easy to be melancholy.  But if there is one thing we can learn from history, straight-line extrapolation is always wrong.

True, so much damage has been done to our moral culture that it may take generations to repair it, and it is good to be prepared for the possibility that things will get a good deal worse before they get better.  But I do not think it is possible for them to go on getting worse with no end.  True, we have developed such elaborate social technologies to put off the natural consequences of our manner of life that when the day of reckoning finally comes, it is likely to come with great force.  But mercy brings good even from affliction; it is doing so now.

The great thing is to act with love toward those within reach of our actions, have courage, be cheerful, trust God, and not worry about how He is doing His job.  “Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.”