The gift of Hope.
Hope … with help from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation.
We invite rest and peace to come and bring attention to breath. Taking a few deeper breaths and as the exhale comes, allow yourself to sink, drop into the chair. Let yourself be held and in this moment let go.
Right now nothing is needed other than to be here.
Let everything fall away except being present in the here and now. Let any thoughts that come go as prayers, knowing that they’ve been seen.
Return to breath if and when the attention wanders.
Because we are so quickly led to despair, most of us cannot endure suffering for long without some sliver of hope or meaning. However, it is worth asking ourselves about where our hope lies. There is a powerful distinction between ordinary hope, “tied to outcome … an optimistic feeling … because we sense that things will get better in the future” and a deeper hope “that is a complete reversal of our usual way of looking at things”.
Deep hope is not tied to a good outcome, to the future. It lives a life of its own, seemingly without reference to external circumstances and conditions.
It has something to do with presence—not a future good outcome, but the immediate experience of being met, held in communion, by something intimately at hand.
It bears fruit within us at the psychological level in the sensations of strength, joy, and satisfaction: an “unbearable lightness of being.” But mysteriously, rather than deriving these gifts from outward expectations being met, it seems to produce them from within…
It is all too easy to understate and miss that hope is not intended to be an extraordinary infusion, but an abiding state of being. We lose sight of the invitation to develop a conscious and permanent connection to this wellspring. We miss the call to become a vessel, to become a chalice into which this divine energy can pour; a lamp through which it can shine…
We ourselves are not the source of that hope; we do not manufacture it. But the source dwells deeply within us and flows to us with an unstinting abundance, so much so that in fact it might be more accurate to say we dwell within it.
The good news is that this deeper current does exist and you actually can find it… This journey to the wellsprings of hope is not something that will change your life in the short range, in the externals. Rather, it is something that will change your innermost way of seeing. From there, inevitably, the externals will rearrange.
The journey to the wellsprings of hope is really a journey toward the centre, toward the innermost ground of our being where we meet and are met by God.
As we sit with ashes words and reflect on hope…
Are there any places within you that feel hopeless right now?
If anything surfaces, it may hep to name them and give them space. Know that they are seen and heard.
Do I need a fresh gift of hope?
If the answer of that is yes, I invite you to receive this freely given gift of hope. You may want to turn your palms up as a gesture of receiving this grace of hope. It may come in the form of a picture, a word, a sensation. Allow this gift to speak in to you.
As we finish something from the Bible, Romans 5 from The Passion Translation…
Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
I pray that hope would be your companion as we continue to journey. That where it’s needed it will come as a gift and as grace. And that you will know my friends that you are tenderly and lovingly held and sustained. You are not alone, we are in this together. You are known and loved by a tender and kind God.