Skip to content

Resilience in tough times: two millennia of how-to

As days of distance learning, financial strains, physical distancing, illness and deaths stretch into weeks, many of us feel like a sprint is turning into a marathon. It is hard not to grow weary.

As this was all beginning in March, Partnership Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Christian Dallavis began a meeting with our school leaders using the reflection below. We’re finding it even more appropriate these days. So today we simply share Christian’s reflection in the hope that it animates your resolve and strengthens your strides–even the ones you take around your home.

It is based on a text from the Congregation of Holy Cross, a Catholic religious order founded in the wake of the French Revolution and now serving in the United States and around the world.


From The Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Constitution 8:

If we, like Him, encounter and accept suffering in our discipleship, we will move without awkwardness among others who suffer. We must be disciples with hope to bring. There is no failure the Lord’s love cannot reverse, no humiliation He cannot exchange for blessing, no anger He cannot dissolve, no routine He cannot transfigure.

All is swallowed up in victory.

He has nothing but gifts to offer. It remains only for us to find how even the cross can be borne as a gift.

But if we shirk the cross, gone too will be our hope.

The footsteps of those holy women and men who called us to walk in their company left deep prints, as of disciples carrying heavy burdens.

But they did not trudge; they strode.

For they had hope.

Because it is the Lord Jesus calling us: “Come. Follow me.”


Christian went on to add:

This is a time for disciples with hope to bring!

When Bishop Perez was appointed to Philadelphia, someone asked him if, given everything that has gone on in the Church in recent years, if he has hope for the Church in Philly, and he said:

“I’ve dedicated my life to a faith that believes that a dead man came back to life, so yes, I have hope.”

We are an Easter people, and that means that we understand challenges and crises as deaths and resurrections, and knowing that this is just the order of life, and we recognize the cross is our only hope and our need to see this moment as an experience of dying and rising again.