Skip to main content

Hope Endures All Things

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tunes without the words, and never stops at all." Emily Dickinson
Advent has been called the season of hope and rightfully so since it is the season in which one prepares mentally and spiritually for the coming of Jesus in Christmas.  But what is hope in a non Christian context?  What is hope at its core? 

Hope I believe is the aspiration or belief in something that is better than the present reality.  Think about it for a minute... 

A person who continues to work that job he/she hates works because somewhere in their mind there is a belief that things will get better one day.  Or how about a New York Mets fan who despite no encouraging prospects for the 2012 season still roots for the team on the hope that someday they will return to their 1986 glory.  Or how about that parent of a wayward child who hopes that one day their child will wake up and begin to live a decent, honorable life.  Or how about Victor Frankel, a concentration camp survivor who hoped that one day he would be free and live to tell about the horrors of Nazism. Or how about Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison who hoped that one day he would be free to unite his country.  

In all of these examples each of these people were able to get through their adversities by hoping in a better future that was not yet realized. As Christians we have the greatest hope that there can be.  We believe that after the trials of this life, if we have lived a life of virtue and humble obedience to the Church we will meet Christ in heaven and be forever joyful.  For a non Christian hope might be the knowledge that through suffering adversity the lives of future generations will be one day greatly enriched.

Ultimately hope is strength of mind, hope is courageous, hope is resilient, hope is inherently optimistic, hope defies and conquers all adversity.  

So I would like to end with one of my favorite quotes from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, "...hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."  


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…