Cultivating a reserve of hope

Lynne Smith, OSBLiving in Community Leave a Comment

Recent posts have included selections from our current midday readings from Hope in the Midst of Darkness, a collection of writings put together by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  Yet another of these readings that really spoke to me is written by Christine Vladimiroff, OSB from Erie, PA. She begins with the following quotes:

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. – Christopher Reeve

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

Sister Christine goes on to say:

In our time, much of what made the world feel so secure and reliable – even predictable – has come undone.  We experience a loss of control, a sense of abandonment. Our idol of a God of certainties and guarantees is gone. If we let our imagination draw an image it seems we stand in the midst of ruins crumbled at our feet. We look for traces of God’s nearness. We wonder where and how God is present in our life. The paradox is that the mystics have taught us that darkness can be a moment of disclosure.

Hope emerges as our own resources seem to fail us.  At this moment in our history I believe we are called to cultivate a deep reserve of hope in a hidden God.  Hope gives us the possibility of believing and loving in the present moment.  Hope calls us to active engagement; it is a movement toward something. We must make a way where none exists. It is an act of praise by faithful women to hope that all is not chaos. Hope is an immense openness toward a promised future.

Our community has made a way where none existed in becoming the first ecumenical Benedictine women’s community in the U.S.  We are moving toward the unity that Christ prayed for among his disciples, “…that all may be one.” – John 17:21

As you read these words, you are a sign of hope to us.  All who join us in a search for a deeper spirituality, all who seek to follow and respond to God’s love in their lives, all who speak out against injustice and work for justice, all who care for and protect the gift of this good earth.  You are all with us in spirit.  You are part of our reserve of hope.  May God’s richest blessings dwell deeply in each of us.

See also: Finding hope in the midst of darkness and Green twigs of hope, previous reflections from Hope in the Midst of Darkness

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