Day 14: Hope

Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.

Today’s theme is short and sweet. In a word . . .  “hope”!

“All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope.”

Alexandre Dumas

If you’re following along in Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta, you will find that hope can have a dark underbelly. While faith is oriented toward the past, and love to the present, the virtue of hope is planted firmly in the future, where we wait for God’s promises to blossom into full flower.

Hope doesn’t ignore the darkness, or downplay the pain and hurt we experience in those shadowlands of our lives. Rather, it is the lifeline that we hold on to, knowing that God has not abandoned us and that better times are indeed ahead. I know whereof I speak.

A few years ago, my husband and I were going through the darkest time of our married lives, trying to help our children who were in crisis. At one point one of my closest friends called to tell me that she was leaving her husband of more than twenty years. When she heard what I was going through, she wondered aloud if I had ever thought about walking away from it all.

To be honest, there was a time that I would have been vulnerable to this suggestion. While my husband was (and is) a wonderful man, grief does strange things to people. But I knew I had made a promise, and so did he … and so we held on. We went on a Retrouvaille weekend, and learned new skills to get us communicating constructively again. Gradually the pain and stress began to fade, and we were left with something new and, in time, wonderful.

Four years later, my friend is regretting her decision . . . but I never did. We are as happy as we have ever been. In the words of Judith Viorst,

“One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with each other, it keeps you together until maybe you fall in love again.”

Can you relate to this? What is the hardest time you’ve had to face together … and what was the hope that got you through it? Share it with the one you love . . . today.

Advertisements

How beautiful are your feet…?

saint teresaToday on Sunrise Morning Show, I’ll be chatting with the hosts about Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  The book consists of daily reflections from the first day of Advent through the season of Christmas, tying together themes from the daily readings to the life and witness of Mother Teresa.  You can order the book here.

The first reading today, from the book of Romans, quotes from the book of Isaiah: “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace.” This automatically makes me think of St. Teresa, whose feet (as you see here) were twisted and misshapen from traveling through the slums of Calcutta and around the world, tending to the needs of those who need her. Her feet were beautiful, not for their appearance, but because they carried her where she needed to go to “spread the fragrance of Christ” everywhere she went.

As you bend over to tie on your own shoes today, why not take a moment to bless them, and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide your feet, that you too might spread the Gospel of peace?