Some find it strange, even slightly naughty, that I shut off the news after the elections of November 2020. My experience has taught me otherwise. Having no longer handed my mind over to the distant, impersonal forces that seek to occupy it, I have abandoned my anger and discovered the world anew in front of my eyes, thanks to prayer.
I started praying all fifteen decades of the Rosary (you’ll pardon me if I am old-fashioned) back when Pope Francis made this request in October 2018. Things already seemed bleak enough back then to merit it. Now, the Rosary is my constant companion throughout the day.
Very recently it struck me: Why aren’t there wrathful mysteries to ponder? Anger, we are told, is the appropriate response to evil and injustice. Yet the hell of condemnation that characterizes our times begs the question: Is it really the appropriate response? The Rosary offers the harder but better way of confronting evil and injustice: sorrow. It is plainly evident that our society has lost its capacity to be sad because anger is so much easier, so much more delicious because it combines the illusion of control with claims of righteousness. By contrast, sadness is far more demanding, as it requires one to weep and to wait for comfort from others, especially the Other, who declares, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).