to be or not to be


“There is an actual sense in which every human use of the future tense of the verb “to be” is a negation, however limited, of mortality. Even as every use of  “if” in a sentence tells of a refusal of the brute inevitability, of the despotism of the fact. “Shall”, “will”, and “if”, circling in intricate fields of semantic force around the hidden center or nucleus of potentiality, are the passwords of hope.”  ……………………………The future tense of the verb inhabits nearly every saying of Jesus. He is, for his followers, hope made flesh.”  Richard John Neuhaus in a review of “Grammar of Creation” by George Steiner in First Things, August/ September of 2001  #115