Monday, April 16, 2007


"Hope, in its widest acceptation, is described as the desire of something together with the expectation of obtaining it. The Scholastics say that it is a movement of the appetite towards a future good, which though hard to attain is possible of attainment. ... It is a truth constantly acted upon in Catholic life and no less explicitly taught, that hope is necessary to salvation. ... There is both a negative and a positive precept of hope. The negative precept is in force ever and always. Hence there can never be a contingency in which one may lawfully despair or presume. The positive precept enjoining the exercise of the virtue of hope demands fulfilment sometimes, because one has to discharge certain Christian duties which involve an act of this supernatural confidence, such as prayer, penance, and the like.(

I have always been a bit of an optimist. I always thought things could somehow work out, things always work out for the best, that good always triumph evil, that if given the chance people will do the right thing, etc. Within the last 7 years or so, I lost some of that optimism. I was excited and hopeful that voting for a pro-life, small-government president who actually won would have good effects. I thought with a Republican congress good things might finally begin to happen. The examples can go on - and not all political either.

Now I never lost faith in God's triumph over the world, etc. But I did lose some of my optimism as people disappointed me. The amount of selfishness, inconsiderateness, greed, laziness and hypocritical negativity I've seen from people over the years - terrorism, the murder of Terri Schiavo, a woman being sued in NJ for homeschooling her children, elephant dung on a picture of the BVM, Maryland's trying to remove any statute of limitations for Catholic institutions but not touching public ones, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor and the increasing cost of living in some areas, euthanasia, abortion, poor public education, road rage, and the list goes on and on from the most dramatic to the smallest incidents. How many of us turn on our turn signal before we need to get over to give another driver the opportunity to let us in? How often do we expect that consideration? How often do we hold the door open for each other or have the door held open for us? I've been pregnant and had people not hold the door or let me pass by. And the disappointing things, because they are part of humanity, span from the smallest moments to the biggest decisions.

The problem is that to ignore such things is to ignore life - good or bad it is part of this world we live in and we can't live outside it. We can't ignore it.

However, I came to notice that the loss of my optimism and my new cynicism and disappointment and low expectations from many people didn't effect them. It effected me. It effected my cheerfulness. It effected my outlook. And it took me a while to figure out why I was less cheerful. And I think the answer comes down to Hope. Now, I do not mean to say I can now hope in crooked politicians or murdering "doctors" or terrorists. But I can hope for them. I can hope for them because I have hope in God.

Easter is the season of Hope. It is the celebration that despair, sin and death do not get the last word. Easter teaches us that all our hope rests in the one who gives hope - the God Son who became "fetus" who became child who became man who suffered and died and took up his life again in glory. He gives us hope and if our hope is in Him, then through Him, we can have hope for others. It is because of Easter that we can live in a world of selfishness and deceit and hypocritical nastiness and not let it get us down. And it is through hope that, when the muck and grime of this world tries to bring us down, God keeps us soaring above it clean and dry.

So the next time a politician stands up to tell me how wonderful they are and then, true to form, serve only themselves or a driver cuts me off or a bomb goes off half way across the world or another innocent unborn child is brutally and senslessly murdered I will feel it and I will lament it but I will not be brought down by it - there is simply too much to hope for.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Divine Mercy Sunday

I've been sick with a nasty cold - you name it, it included it. Due to this, my head is a bit fuzzy. So I am only going to share a brief reflection on the Divine Mercy.

Adam and Eve disobey God and eat from the forbidden tree and then, shamed, hide themselves and are rebuked and punished for thier sin. (Genesis 3)

Then the LORD God said: "See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever." The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen 3:22-24)

I remember reading and rereading the creation, the creation, the fall, etc. until I was sick of it. But something caught my attention anew about this part not long ago I would like to share.

I had always read Gen 3:22 as though God was upset that man might climb the heights of immortality and be in some way equal to God. It always came across in the translation to me as though God were jealously guarding his special status as knowledgable AND immortal. And hence God banishes the man and the woman. But here is the thing... Adam and Eve at this point are in a fallen, sinful state. IF they had eaten from the tree of life at that moment they would not go to heaven or be eternally happy but be damned to hell for their immortality would have been solidified in a fallen state. So it is actually not jealousy but MERCY that provokes God to exile his disobedient children and great care and concern for them that he places the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword to save them from immediate damnation. By NOT eating from the tree of life, they may yet be redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sorry it has been a while...

For two and a half weeks I was without a computer as mine was being worked on by Apple Geniuses. One day it just wouldn't boot. They spent 10 days replacing logic boards and hard drives and couldn't figure out what was wrong. So they ordered me a new one which I now have. Even after we got the new computer, our car decided to commit suicide so we spent a week car shopping. I must say, through the whole thing, Cecilia was fantastic. She had more patience than most adults would have at car dealerships - although she was somewhat placated by all their balloons. In the end we got a Honda Odyssey, which we all like very much. Cecilia has taken to it very quickly.

Sorry I've been away so long but hopefully now I can post a bit more regularly.