How Do You Keep Hope Alive?
By Sister Patti
On October 15, 2009, I wrote the first post for the Connect with Mercy blog. At that time, I wrote about the sisters who would be posting a little about our lives and how we came to use technology as Sisters of Mercy. I also shared links to our prayer resources.
Today, I find myself, our world and this blog at a different point. We are still at war in Afghanistan after 10 years and our soldiers are returning with physical and emotional disabilities. Young men and women are being killed in our cities with drive by shootings and other types of escalating violence. The financial crisis has hurt and continues to hurt those people already living in poverty as well as the middle class. The other – the person who does not dress, work, vote or believe as we do — is the enemy. And I am more conscious then ever of the temptation to move toward despair instead of living in hope.
Responding to all that is happening, this blog has begun to change and grow. It now contains posts that advocate for justice in our world. Current events spark conversations among bloggers and readers. Women respond to what is happening in the world with hope filled hearts. Where then do we find the resources of hope? As a theology student I reflected on hope in order to write a paper on it.
This is some of what I came to believe and understand:
The hope of religious women and men is a hope that transcends religious life. It is a hope that emerges into the world to combat the hopelessness that is experienced there. The hope of religious is an inner hope. A hope based on both scripture and experiences that come from their relationship to God. The hope of religious is a hope that is not focused on life after death, but a hope in the present, the time between Jesus’ death and resurrection, and his coming in glory.
This hope witnesses by being an active hope. It is a hope based on the ministry of Jesus and the call to follow him. It is a hope founded in love that shares love by working for a world of peace and justice in our time. It is a hope that understands reality and chooses to focus on possibilities rather than concentrate on limitations. Religious women and men believe in and work for the reign of God that is in our midst to bring to fulfillment the promises of God.
As Connect with Mercy continues, I pray that you will find within the posts the hope that you need to bring about change. May you recognize that you are loved and in turn share that love with others. May we always look to possibilities and to the promises of God.