A Few Thoughts for the Overly Cynical

By pintswaquinas January 23, 2024

Let’s be honest: Many of us are cynical about the current state of the Church and the world. We are baffled by confusing statements made by Pope Francis and nervous about rising political tensions.

Be wary, for cynicism — no matter how justified — can destroy you. Here are a few points for cynical Catholics to keep in mind to preserve their sanity.

Don’t leave Peter because of Judas.
Yes, many of us have heard this phrase (or a variation of it) dozens of times and are tired of it. But guess what? It’s still true!

The Church has had many bad popes who were far worse than the current pontiff. For example, Pope Alexander VI had mistresses and doled out land to his children. If God preserved His Church through that destructive pontificate, He will lead us through the current one.

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Truth doesn’t change due to circumstances.
Jesus promised that He would always be with the Church. This is just as true today as it was 2,000 years ago.

The problem is us — we get tired of living in a broken world. After dealing with the same problem over and over again, we may start to doubt God’s promises.

It’s during these moments you need to cling even more to the sacraments and prayer.

“Not even the wise can see all ends.”
These encouraging words from Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” are just as true for our current state. No matter how bad things seem, God is able to guide it all to His glorious purposes. We’re living a story that guarantees a happy ending to those who remain faithful.

Focus on your vocation.
We tend to spend emotional energy on things we can’t control. We then wear ourselves out and lose the drive to do God’s will.

Take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of what He’s calling you to do. If you have a family, refocus your attention on loving and serving them. If you’re single, spend more time in prayer, work, hobbies, and cultivating friendships than fretting over the dire state of things.

Few care what you think.
This is not an insult: It’s freedom! Each of us has a limited perspective on things. Yes, we may have cheerleaders and haters, but the former will cheer on your anger, while the latter will complain about everything you say.

It’s not worth it. Focus on the eternal wisdom found in the Word of God and the liturgy. There, you will find the strength and peace to withstand anything. Take heart — God is with us!


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