My dear sister Mary just had her second baby boy today! So I am an aunt twice-over now! God is so incredibly good. He has put so much joy into this world......I was thinking of this, my whole family--all twelve of us--being together again for the first time in a year. So now we can celebrate together, drink a toast to Hugh, wonder what he will be like, and just celebrate life. It reminded me of the time when Will once said...The BIG PROBLEM that people have with God and the world shouldnt be the Problem of Evil.....the real puzzler is the "problem" of joy! When the world is such a messed up place, how amazing it is that God could be so good and allow there to be so much joy in the world!

Writing for news stories over the past weeks has been an incredibly interesting adventure, but sometimes it has also been overwhelming, the sheer volume of crap I've had to shovel through, how discouragingly dark the world can appear at times--the concentration of emails and newflashes that seem to indicate that God is taking a nap. Politicians who compromise, people who get hurt, atrocities that are committed......But then when I think of a moment like this (Hugh), its like coming to the surface and realizing that the water in the puddle may be getting steadily slimier (We say, "where is God in this puddle?"), but then you suddenly lose your breath because the sky is bigger, wider and sunnier than ever. The contrast is so strong, I think thats why we never need get discouraged about the pro-life movement. Just to be alive and to love life and love God is to be pro-life.

We can curl up into a little ball, stay in the puddle, and say, "No! God put me in this puddle, its his fault. Its not fair." Or, a much pleasanter alternative is to throw ourselves into the current of life and enjoy the ride, even if it means getting scraped a little over the rocks and or having to swim against the current sometimes.

During a lull between some of his more disgustingly selfish rants, Oscar Wilde once said, "Love of some kind is the only possible explanation of the extraordinary amount of suffering that there is in the world. I cannot conceive any other explanation (...and) if the worlds have indeed as I have said been built out of Sorrow, it has been by the hands of Love, because in no other way could the Soul of man for whom the worlds are made reach the full stature of its perfection. Pleasure for the beautiful body, but Pain for the beautiful Soul."

Thats why I love my little nephews so much--not only because they are SO much fun (well at least I'm pretty darn sure Hugh will be)--but also because they remind me of what we live for. The goodness and joy and innocence that God wants us to have. And if we have to struggle sometimes to live in the truth, its okay, because the good, the true, and the beautiful are the only things worth fighting for. Viva la alegria!!!


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