Facing the Future With Hope – Reflections from Hopeful Writers
“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. It is a dimension of the soul; an orientation of the spirit; an orientation of the heart. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced.
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, but rather an ability to work for something that is good. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.”
(Vaclav Havel. Adapted by Ignite Hope Chicago Nov. 19, 2011)
To live deeply in the Spirit is to be able to see beyond the immediate evidence of brokenness and suffering. It is to be able to imagine alternatives. To live deeply in the Spirit is to find the courage to create in the midst of darkness.”
In the days of apartheid in South Africa, Christians there used to light candles and place them in windows as a sign to themselves and to others that they believed that some day this injustice would end. A candle burning in a window was a sign of hope and a political statement. Lit candles, more than firearms, overthrew apartheid. To light a candle as an act of hope is to say to yourself and to others that, despite anything that might be happening in the world, you are still nursing a vision of peace and unity.
(From an article on Ron Rolheiser, OMI, December 1, 2002)
“The ability to wait is central to hope. If hope directs itself toward good things that belong to the future and that are only difficult to achieve, then it must know how to wait. We cannot be faithful to hope while at the same time demand instant solutions.”
(William F. Lynch, S. J., from his book “Images of Hope.”)
What do you hope for?
What nourishes your hope?
What are the signs of hope around you, in you?
Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of hope – not the prudent gates of Optimism, which are somewhat narrower; nor the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense; nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness, which creak on shrill and angry hinges (people cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through); not the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of “Everything is Gonna Be All Right.” But a different, sometimes lonely place, of truth-telling about your own soul first of all and its condition, the place of resistance and defiance, from which you see the world both as it is and as it could be, as it will be; the place from which you glimpse not only struggle but joy in the struggle. And we stand there, beckoning and calling, telling people what we’re seeing, asking them what they see.
Some passages from the Bible: Jeremiah 31:31-34; Isaiah 51:1-8; Psalm 18:1-7; Psalm 145; St. Paul to the Philippians 1:3-11; Hebrews 6:13-20.