"God has not called me to be successful.
He has called me to be faithful. If I have success, thanks be to God.
If I do not, thanks be to God." Bl. Mother Teresa
It flies in the face of our culture, much like the ascetic paradox St. John of the Cross offers in Dark Night of the Soul:
"To reach satisfaction in all
desire its possession in nothing.
To come to possess all
desire the possession of nothing." Book 13
The Carmelite priest continues, ascending (or descending, according to the reader's needs) beyond the shallows of popular Oprah-as-Buddha-thought. New Age spirituality asks exactly nothing of its adherents, so I get the attraction. Cloudiness can be comforting. Both paths suggest solace begins by being needless of this world.
Many Americans are tonight adding prayers for Bella Santorum, the youngest child of Rick and Karen Santorum, who has been admitted to a Philadelphia hospital. Allow me to presume (without sounding too esoteric about their suffering) that God is using these politicians --- the Palins come to mind --- to display family unity and specifically on the life issue, submission to His will.
There are people living similarly all around us, of course, but our fixation on cheap celebrity means we don't notice. May these families know our gratitude for their willingness to be faithful. To shrug off the scorn of this world, and trust in pleasing God alone. As for the families we all see, their campaigns may fail politically, but they're successfully piercing the culture.