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  • Debbie Ducille

‘Radical optimism’ is needed more than ever

‘Friend to Anna Chaplaincy, Heather in northeast Scotland, recently shared an idea with me whilst we were in conversation,’ reflects Debbie. ‘We were both feeling challenged by the huge demands faced by the health and social care sector, and the idea of radical hope, or optimism, came into view. There is nothing new in this idea as a movement of God’s kindness and grace, but how dearly we need to embed it in our lives.’

US writer, speaker and retreat leader Joyce Rupp recently reflected on this in her latest monthly newsletter, quoted here:

More often than not, I want to avoid national and global news these days. Awareness of how wretchedly humans treat one another often leads to shoving out hope, leaving a limp prospect of altering unjust and harsh situations. I’m not alone in this increasing discouragement.  But then, along comes a movement of grace – my rediscovery of Beatrice Bruteau’s Radical Optimism. This book, first published in 1993, was relevant for the world’s pain then, and is even more so now. I opened to read this wisdom on page 3: “The more troubled the world becomes, the more important it becomes to be optimistic. And the more deeply we need to root our optimism. When we cannot reasonably base it on the way things are going, we know we have to base it in the ultimate reality of God. We know it has to be radical. ...Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said that we will not make the effort that is necessary to move us to...the world of global peace and friendship and prosperity, unless we believe it has a very good chance of succeeding. ...Visions of utopias have a place in our thoughts and in our efforts because they activate the ideas and the desires that move us in those directions.”’

For more information on Joyce Rupp, visit


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