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The Gift of Hope

December 22, 2021

As Advent 2021 winds down and the Christmas season approaches, I have been contemplating what is going on in this nation and world. If you focus on the sensationalized headlines or the clickbait, you would almost expect the four horsemen of the apocalypse to come charging out of the mist. Yet if you ignore all that is going on and prefer to hide from it all, that is a huge mistake.

James Finley, who was a novice at Our Lady of Gethsemani and studied under Thomas Merton spoke about the difference between escaping the world and taking on the world’s pain. Finley was complaining to Merton about something at the monastery when Merton challenged him. In essence, Merton told him that one did not join the monastery to breathe the rarified air and escape from the world. Rather one was called to take on the pain of the world in prayer as a monk. (A very rough paraphrase from Alana Levandoski’s (Home Page) album “Point Vierge”)

I find myself increasingly at that point between wishing to escape and seeking how to make a difference in this world. As Christmas approaches, I wonder and I pray. Perhaps the following words from Fr Daniel Berrigan, SJ speak to that desire to be a positive influence in the world. The gift we can offer others is so simple a thing as hope. — Daniel Berrigan

I invite you, dear reader, to join me in this activity and prayer. Then perhaps the closing of my regular evening prayer might be fulfilled: Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace.

One Comment
  1. Think

    Positive

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