THE WORLD TODAY is beset by so many difficulties that at times conditions can seem hopeless. Among them are the intractable war in Afghanistan, nuclear threats from Iran, uncertainty about how or when the United States and other economies will revive, and natural disasters such as the floods in Pakistan, which have devastated a fifth of that nation. Personal issues may also seem beyond hope: illness, delayed healing, fear of aging and mental decline, loss of one's home or income.

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October 11, 2010

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