Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Hope / Healing’ Category

Wednesday of Hope – Defining Hope

We define hope not as something you have, but something you do. You can see what you want to choose. You take a step and then another step, and you join people who are making that a reality. With that understanding of hope, active hope… Hope is a verb. It was a verb. Then, you are acting, even when you’re feeling hopeless.

– Joanna Macy

Wednesday of Hope – Prayer for Fearlessness

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them.

– Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday of Hope – How Hard Is It to have Hope?

Blue heron with fish

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,

for hope must not depend on feeling good

and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.

You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality

of the future, which surely will surprise us,

and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction

any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.

The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?

Tell them at least what you say to yourself. 

Because we have not made our lives to fit

our places, the forests are ruined, the fields eroded,

the streams polluted, the mountains overturned. Hope

then to belong to your place by your own knowledge

of what it is that no other place is, and by

your caring for it as you care for no other place, this

place that you belong to though it is not yours,

for it was from the beginning and will be to the end. 

Belong to your place by knowledge of the others who are

your neighbors in it: the old man, sick and poor,

who comes like a heron to fish in the creek,

and the fish in the creek, and the heron who manlike

fishes for the fish in the creek, and the birds who sing

in the trees in the silence of the fisherman

and the heron, and the trees that keep the land

they stand upon as we too must keep it, or die. 

This knowledge cannot be taken from you by power

or by wealth. It will stop your ears to the powerful

when they ask for your faith, and to the wealthy

when they ask for your land and your work.

Answer with knowledge of the others who are here

and how to be here with them. By this knowledge

make the sense you need to make. By it stand

in the dignity of good sense, whatever may follow.

Speak to your fellow humans as your place

has taught you to speak, as it has spoken to you.

Speak its dialect as your old compatriots spoke it

before they had heard a radio. Speak

publicly what cannot be taught or learned in public. 

Listen privately, silently to the voices that rise up

from the pages of books and from your own heart.

Be still and listen to the voices that belong

to the stream banks and the trees and the open fields.

There are songs and sayings that belong to this place,

by which it speaks for itself and no other. 

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.

Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground

underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls

freely upon it after the darkness of the nights

and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.

Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,

which is the light of imagination. By it you see

the likeness of people in other places to yourself

in your place. It lights invariably the need for care

toward other people, other creatures, in other places

as you would ask them for care toward your place and you. 

No place at last is better than the world. The world

is no better than its places. Its places at last

are no better than their people while their people

continue in them. When the people make

dark the light within them, the world darkens.

 

~ Wendell Berry ~

(This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems)

Wednesday of Hope – the Role of Gratefulness

Only gratefulness, in the form of limitless openness for surprise, lays hold of the fullness of life in hope.

– David Steindl-Rast

Wednesday of Hope – All Shall Be Well

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well…for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go.

– Julian of Norwich

Wednesday of Hope – Let’s Dance

We did not ask for this room or this music; we were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces toward the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty…We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.

– Stephen King

Wednesdays of Hope – The Feast of St. Dominic

Saint Dominic did not leave his sisters and brothers a wealth of written work. Therefore, I don’t have a quote of his  that talks about “hope.” Nevertheless, those who followed after him have written many words. What else would one expect from The Order of Preachers?

One of those later Dominicans was Saint Thomas Aquinas, who at the end of his life looked back on his work and said that it was all straw. Thomas called hope, “a movement or stretching forth of the appetite towards an arduous good.” Surely Dominic would have agreed with and approved of, both of Thomas’s arduous study and pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful, as well as of his hopeful look forward to what was yet to unfold.

We, in the manner of Dominic de Guzman, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, and all those who have gone before us, continue to run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

Mosaic of St. Dominic in Caleruega, Spain, “The Nine Ways of Prayer”