History is not prayer. To pray is to aim for spiritual elevation while studying the past is more like plodding along. Yet perhaps history prepares the soul, even so, by teaching a simple lesson: we are not the first to pass this way.
Take, for example, the current mood of crisis in much of the world. The economy rumbles; corporations and stock exchanges shake; governments plan dramatic changes. It seems frightening, perhaps even apocalyptic, until things are put into perspective.