O Wonderful Hope!
The lands of sunrise and sunsetYou fill with your joy. (Ps64)
I hope you may hear sometimes how beautifully the birds are singing at early morning. Their singing does not create the dawn, but they are singing because the sun has risen.
At sunset when our world is wrapped in darkness, St Dominic’s daughters and sons are also singing: “O Spem miram” (O Wonderful Hope).
What they do hope for?
We sing because CHRIST IS RISEN!
Like Mary Magdalena we hope to meet our Risen Lord face to face, and ‘to know the power of his resurrection’.
‘To see God’ really means to share in his life, to enjoy his plenitude, to penetrate into the depth of his life, to be with him, to live in his presence.
Similarly the expression ‘to know’ in biblical usage does not mean a purely intellectual process, but the union of two beings in love. We read in Genesis ‘Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore a son.’ The union of two human beings in love of body and soul becomes an image of the knowledge that takes place in heaven between God and man, and which Christ regarded as the essence of the eternal life. There is something entirely pure about Christian hope. “God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us”. (SPE SALVI 31)
“In English ’hope’ is a weightless word – almost negative in meaning. Look at its usage:’ We don’t know what tomorrow’s weather will be like, but we hope it will be fine’. And we hope when there is nothing we can do about it anyway: ’The doctors have done all they can; now we can only hope’. So we hope when we don’t know and when we are powerless.” (Fr. Donagh O’Shea O.P.) I agree with Fr. Donagh that this kind of hope would never help to move the world.
Also we need to distinguish hope carefully from optimism. ’An optimist says, ’Cheer up-the worst may never happen. But hope says’ The worst may well happen, but even it does, God is still God, and it still saving you in Christ’. When God assure Julian of Norwich: ’All would be well’ he did not say: You will not be troubled, you will not be over-laboured, you will not be disquieted; but he said: You will not be overcome.
Hope is active and strong. ’Hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us ‘(Rom.5.5)We could adapt John’s words in 1J4.10 this is the hope I mean: not our hope in God ,but God’s hope for us’
Fr Vivian Boland O.P. wrote: “This is what it means to enter into the theological virtue of hope, to live in God’s infinite ‘space ‘and eternal ‘time’ ,the best possible ’here and now’ which is already ours if we are prepared to embrace the cross so as enjoy its fruits.”
To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our private corner of happiness.
“The relationship with Jesus, however, is a relationship with the one who gave himself as a ransom for all (cf. 1Tim2:6). Being in communion with Jesus Christ draws us into his ’being for all’ ,it makes it our own way of being .He commits us to live for others, but only through communion with him does it become possible truly to be there for others, for the whole. To live for him means allowing oneself to be drawn into his being for others” (Spe Salvi28).
St. Dominic prays for us that we become capable of this great hope, and thus we become ministers of hope for others and that we keep the world open to God.
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