" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Friday, June 27, 2008

Faith, Hope and Charity

"Hate comes naturally to us, but love is a lesson that must be learned and learned, again and again..."

Anyone who has parents, or been married or had children or siblings or friends or even had a damn dog knows that love does not come naturally, you have to work at it. It is less a feeling than an act of the will, or so they tell me. Of course, there are those times when it just wells up in you and you are so filled with love that you can do whatever love requires without barely counting the cost to yourself... but let's face it. Those times are rare and beyond our control to bring about.

So why should it come as such a surprise to me that faith and hope, like love, require some effort on my part? Rarely do they well up and flow as easily as tears, from the deepest, best part of myself (not even my tears come from there. As a matter of fact, there is very little produced in those mythical nether regions of best self...) Why should it surprise or disappoint me that at times it is very hard to have hope that the future still holds beautiful things for me, or to have faith that he hears me even through this dark time of waiting and uncertainty? Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle to maintain faith and hope, but really, that's probably just the nature of the stuff, like love. I think that probably the best thing to do, when I feel that downward pull into depression or despair, is to make an act of hope. With what is left of my tattered, frayed, threadbare little will, to CHOOSE hope, to CHOOSE faith (the operative word being choose).

I believe You hear me and love me. And whether that looks the way I imagine it or otherwise, there will still be beauty and meaning in the plan You have written for my life.

So I guess I just need to roll up my sleeves and get back to work.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you near day 1 of your cycle? I often feel depressed about that time- some low hormone- and is totally out of your control. Plastering on a smile doesn't help either. I hope you are feeling more positive soon! Love you, Trinka

Anonymous said...

hope springs enternal, just have to have faith and trust in the love of God. take care and prayin for ya. kathy w.

Anonymous said...

TIMSHELL!
I don't know if I spelled that right.

Jered said...

Well, amen. So be it. Thanks for your transparency.

sheshe said...

Oh I'm so certain that God's plan is more glorious than anyone of can possibly imagine. Especially for you. I think a rock star life is in your future fo'show! ;)

Maybe some days you can't quite see it, but even now in the midst of it all, you are demonstrating such hope, charity and faith to the lives your touching.

Be well beautiful one. Be well.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know if you will receive this comment - since the 'blog' is past date. We don't know one another -- a friend of a friend told me to read your blog. I have never seen a blog before - hard to imagine. I loved what you wrote about faith and hope - yes, they take 'work' on our part and I believe that 'work' is simply confidence in His love for us. Here is a quote from St. Therese:

"With bold surrender, I wish to remain gazing upon you, O Lord, my divine Sun. Nothing will frighten me, neither wind nor rain, and if dark clouds come and hide you from my gaze, I will not change my place because I know that beyond the clouds you still shine on and your brightness is not eclipsed for a single instant."

And another:

"You may sleep in my boat, I shall not awaken you. You are hiding yourself, but I know well where you are hidden. You are in my heart. I do not feel it, but I know it. I believe in your love for me and I believe in my love for you!"
St. Therese

Colleen said...

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

Br. Robert, OP said...

My friend and brother, Fr. Michael Sweeney, notes that faith can be defined as simply staying with someone. So we say that a long-married couple are faithful to each other. Likewise, faith in God is often just staying with him through all the fears and struggles and difficulties.

Staying with -- this is something you excel at, and one of the reasons you are so aptly named.

I know less about hope. One of my confessors once pointed out that all my sins were sins against hope. But I think hope is built on faith in that it clings to the good, to the beloved, even when the darkness hides him from sight.

Love, of course, is impossible without faith and hope. Love must stay with, and love must cling to the unseen good, and love must work for that good, as you point out.

I have to agree with SheShe that, just by struggling, you are demonstrating and growing in faith and hope and charity. It is an act of love to share your struggles with us, and I am grateful for you.

sheshe said...

Oh my gosh... I can't believe br. robert agrees with me.

This is the like the most exciting thing that has happened to me all week.

I'm not kidding.

He even calls me "sheshe!"

Eeeek!

Colleen said...

Faith- I love your blog. YOU and your bloggers give ME such hope. I wish I had your insightful visitors on my blog! So I'll keep sharing yours...

Your 2nd to last paragraph is a lovely prayer that I have copied and will use.

I find I'm not questioning much, with regard to my own diagnosis. I find great comfort in just acknowledging that I am in His hands. Period.

Colleen said...

Thank you KW!

hopeyg said...

Hope is on the way Paypee, but hope is needing some hope herself lately. I'm in Dublin right now and just went to Riverdance here. Very cool, but not as perfessional as the one I've seen on video. Love ya,
Hoper