This weekend we have World Mission Day. Amongst the attachments is something Pope Francis has written on this subject stressing that the message that needs to be given is one of hope. The other attachments are around the subject of hope.
Our blessing is from John Glynn’s ‘May the Lord Bless You’ and is from his CD ‘Song of Blessing’. Let’s include those who have trouble holding onto hope when things are difficult in their lives. Of course our hearts go out to those involved in any way in the Middle East crisis.
Hope you have a good week & with love
Pope Francis – for World Mission Day.
The insecurity of our times brings to the fore and amplifies the pain, the solitude, the poverty and the injustices experienced by so many people. It reveals the brokenness and polarization quietly growing in our midst. Those who are most frail and vulnerable have come to feel even more so. We have experienced discouragement, disillusionment and fatigue; nor have we been immune to a growing negativity that stifles hope. For our part, however, “we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5). As a result, in our communities and in our families, we can hear the powerful message of life that echoes in our hearts and proclaims: “He is not here, but has risen (Lk 24:6)! This message of hope shatters every form of determinism and, to those who let themselves be touched by it, bestows the freedom and boldness needed to rise up and seek with creativity every possible way to show compassion, the “sacramental” of God’s closeness to us, a closeness that abandons no one along the side of the road.
Our life of faith grows weak, loses its prophetic power and its ability to awaken amazement and gratitude when we become isolated and withdraw into little groups. I like to think that even those who are most frail, limited and troubled can be missionaries in their own way, for goodness can always be shared, even if it exists alongside many limitations.
HOPE – New Every Morning, Susan Coolidge
Every day is a fresh beginning –
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
There is no power greater than discovering what you care about.
Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.
Notice what you care about.
Assume that many others share your dreams.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Talk to people you know.
Talk to people you don’t know.
Talk to people you never talk to.
Be intrigued by the differences you hear.
Expect to be surprised.
Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.
Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
Remember you don’t fear people whose story you know.
Real listening always brings people closer together.
Trust that meaningful conversation can change your world, bringing it hope.
Rely on human goodness.
Stay together in hope.
~ Margaret Wheatley, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (2002)
Hope – Miroslav Volf.
Hope is different from optimism. Hope is not based on accurate extrapolation about the future from the character of the present; the hoped-for future is not born out of the present. The future good that is the object of hope is a new thing, novum, that comes in part from outside the situation. Correspondingly, hope is, in Emily Dickinson’s felicitous phrase, like a bird that flies in from outside and “perches in the soul.” Optimism in dire situations reveals an inability to understand what is going on or an unwillingness to accept it and is therefore an indication of foolishness or weakness. In contrast, hope during dire situations, hope notwithstanding the circumstances, is a sign of courage and strength.
What is the use of hope not based on evidence or reason, you may wonder? Think of the alternative. What happens when we identify hope with reasonable expectation? Facing the shocking collapse of what we had expected with good reasons, we will slump into hopelessness at the time when we need hope the most! Hope helps us identify signs of hope as signs of hope rather than just anomalies in an otherwise irreparable situation, as indicators of a new dawn rather than the last flickers of a dying light. Hope also helps us to press on with determination and courage. When every course of action by which we could reach the desired future seems destined to failure, when we cannot reasonably draw a line that would connect the terror of the present with future joy, hope remains indomitable and indestructible. When we hope, we always hope against reasonable expectations. That’s why Emily Dickinson’s bird of hope “never stops” singing – in the sore storm, in the chilliest land, on the strangest sea.