Kathryn Lopez

Between coughs, he declared himself as fortunate as they come: He's been married for decades to a woman who loves him more than, he says, he deserves. "God has blessed me," said Jim. "And he still does. I wish I had taken better care of myself. But if this dang cough can help others appreciate their good health and take better care of themselves, I'm grateful for the opportunity."

"Pope Benedict XVI wrote: "The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life."

Which brings me back to Verily, the new women's magazine. Its inspirational first issue, on stands now, seeks to remind women that they have an inherent beauty, to help them celebrate, enjoy and share it. It helps raise expectations.

"We want to bring beauty into this world by showing representations that uplift the whole person," editor Crouch tells me. "We hope to create a more positive culture in which women feel safer in their own bodies and are allowed to thrive as the beautiful, multi-dimensional people they are."

"Let us be like the lark, enemy of the night, who always announces the dawn and awakens in each creature the love of light and life," Elisabeth Leseur wrote around the turn of the last century. Beacons of hope, in tragedy and in everyday life, do this. When we see our life as a gift, with all its challenges and heartaches, we hold doors open for one another, we say thank you, we live differently than the darker aspects of our culture would seem to dictate. We curse the darkness by living life with love.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.