Friday, November 6

Let There Be Light

I decided to continue that meditation on worry-free life.

I was asked to prepare a talk for an online conference. The conference will be held next week Thursday, November 22. You can log in at your convenience here and listen to all the talks. The theme, one that is very close to my heart, is HOPE. Especially now, in these days of uncertainty and fear, we need to cling to the hope that the Lord promises us.

I haven't quite decided what my talk will focus on, but I started thinking a bit on the theme of hope vs. the worry that plagues me.

Our Lord extends to us the great gift of hope. This virtue is rooted deep within our souls, a connection to Heaven that keeps us going, allows us to reach higher, push longer, endure in spite of difficulty or burden. Hope allows us to look for meaning in sorrow, to smile while carrying a heavy cross at a person that might have a heavier one.

Our faith is the belief in the knowledge that there is a God. But hope is that gut feeling that chases away the doubts, that helps us keep believing even when there's every apparent reason to give up.

Fear and worry, on the other hand, keep us paralyzed, would cripple us where hope would lift us up. Fear darkens our view, while hope is the window that lets in the light of Christ, casting out the darkness of Satan's deception.

Hope allows us to embrace fully the inheritance that we have already received by virtue of our baptism. Although we cannot see the kingdom of Heaven that awaits us, we are hopeful because we believe in Christ's promise. We take upon ourselves the birthrights of princes or princesses, because we have hope in Christ who makes them a reality.

We cannot hope, however, because we are certain. We hope because in our hearts we believe in something greater. We do not know it is true, having not yet seen with eyes illuminated by truth. We hope that when we close our eyes in death, we will then open them in eternity, about to experience a Love greater than any we could ever imagine. Romans 5:3-5 proclaims, "Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."

His love is the foundation for our faith and hope. We do not merely believe in principles and hope for a promise fulfilled. We believe in a Person and we hope for eternity spent with Him and being loved by Him.

A life without hope is basic, animalistic, and instinctual. We live to survive from day to day, and are incapable of seeing beyond the successes or failures of the moment. Life becomes earthbound, focused on what we can accomplish while on earth.

Hope focuses our eyes on eternity. We are able to look deeper, past the superficiality of the here and now. We see the present within the context of forever. We then become capable of experiencing joy and peace in spite of our circumstances.

Because then life is no longer just about us and what we do. Life becomes about fulfilling who we are by our nature: sons and daughters of the King.

So if you have the gift of hope, cling to it, fight for it, and never let go. It is the door that opens to a deeper faith, more substantial joy, and greater capacity to feel and accept the Lord's love, and give that love to others.

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