Beginning a new year, I am somewhat optimistic about the future. However, if there are any extraterrestrials out there and they land on this mixed-up planet, that will be a big surprise to many people.

Barring that unforeseen event, I am still optimistic.

I feel that our pope has the heart of St. Francis, the intellect of St. Ignatius and the oratory skill of St. Dominic. Armed with those qualities (and I have been exposed to the teachings of all three religious orders), I foresee a more humane approach to our lives.

We must never forget that we are human beings and, therefore, fallible, and yet, capable of many good things. We wrestle with the problem of good and evil.

One great philosopher once wrote: “Evil is good tortured by hunger and thirst.”

There is some truth in that.

Robert Langelier, Lewiston