Keep Hope Alive

From Br. Joseph —

This is the first reflection on seven signposts for the season of Lent (and for all seasons).

Signposts give us direction. They point to some place. They involve action, movement. Many signposts call us to remember something important, some thing that is already there but is often covered up by the minutia of daily life. Signposts represent a choice—to follow or not to follow. It takes courage and grace to follow where a signpost points.

Keep hope alive.

This signpost comes from a priest and former campus minister of Mount St. Mary. He always signed his letters with this phrase. It is a reminder of the importance of hope.

Hope and faith are like two sides of the same coin. Sometimes faith seems broken, hidden, lost, and so hope pulls one through these dark times. Sometimes hope seems lost, and it is faith that pushes one through. Faith is the muscle, the driving force; hope is the spark of light that illuminates the way and warms a heart.

There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him, that in the end, the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (p.901)

This passage reminds me of Easter morning, of Christ’s Resurrection, and of His victory over death. There is indeed “light and high beauty for ever beyond” the Shadow’s reach.

Keep hope alive—for the little things today, and for the big things over a life time.

Our Lady of Mercy is praying for us…