“The real reality, the ‘natural’ form, of politics reflects the figure of Christ.”
There is a phrase in Holy Scripture that I think we should always bear in mind. The phrase says that Jerusalem was built “in angustia temporum.” We must labor our whole lives “in angustia temporum.” Difficulties are not a passing phase. We can’t wait for them to end as we would wait for a thunderstorm to calm down before getting to work. No, difficulties are the norm. We have to realize that we will spend our whole lives “in angustia temporum” in order to bring about the good we hope to accomplish.1
In angustia temporum: with these words, Charles de Foucauld attempts to express the difficulties that the Christian inevitably encounters in his apostolic work. But they also express, on a spiritual level, the core intuition of the present article. It is an intuition that is borne out by even the most cursory glance at the newspapers: whether we consider the domestic or the international scene, it is obvious that difficulties are not a passing phenomenon in the history of nations and of the world. Rather, they represent a state of affairs that we could call “historical” tout court, a state of affairs, in other words, that characterizes historical existence as such.2
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