A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hoping against hope

During the past week or so, two very well-known people, who brought good feelings to many, each took their own lives: one a comedian, the other a singer.

Each in their own way had lost hope of healing their personal pain.

Only God knows what was in the mind of these individuals and so only God can judge their souls, even as we and their loved ones are left with the aftermath of the terrible objective evil of suicide.

We pray for God's mercy on the dead and their loved ones and we also pray for all who feel the loss of hope.

There are many today who have trouble finding hope: some are unemployed, some have been diagnosed with a serious illness, some feel they have complicated their lives beyond repair.

Even people of faith may sometimes feel a loss of hope: sometimes a loss of hope in their personal lives, perhaps with some of the problems just mentioned, and sometimes a loss of hope in a world in which cultures and even governments seek to indoctrinate children in immorality and some seek to punish the teaching of truth.

As an example of someone who hoped beyond hope, today’s second reading (from Romans 4) gives us Abraham.

He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed,
who gives life to the dead
and calls into being
what does not exist.

He believed,
hoping against hope,
that he would become "the father of many nations,"
according to what was said,
"Thus shall your descendants be."

He did not weaken in faith
when he considered
his own body as (already) dead
(for he was almost a hundred years old)
and the dead womb of Sarah.

He did not doubt God's promise in unbelief;
rather, he was empowered by faith
and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced
that what he had promised
he was also able to do.

That is why "it was credited to him
as righteousness."

Obviously it is good to do things that are good and even better to persevere in doing them and better still to persevere against external opposition, but often the greatest value comes when one perseveres in hope and righteousness against the internal opposition of "rational" analysis and emotional despair.

Thus did Abraham persevere, so did many of the greatest saints throughout history, and so do many people around the world today by the grace of God.

May we always continue to walk forward through this world in faith and in hope, trusting in the never-failing love of our Eternal Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.