Advent mysteries

The hard job of discernment

It’s going to be a long Advent. We stepped into the deep violet darkness and have been on the alert ever since, not only for the coming of our Savior, but also for further assaults from our largely unseen enemies. Two mysterious objects thus appear on the same radar screen: the mystery of redemption and the mystery of evil, both pushing our powers of analysis beyond their limits. As I sat down to write this, American Airlines flight 587 crashed into Queens. Was it terrorism? With calm firmness, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer reminded us that “first facts . . . are the facts that are subject to the greatest change.”


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