July 17, 2016
A little extra bulletin space during the summer weeks enables us to run a full article in four weekly segments. The topic is HOPE and is taken from a leading journal of contemporary Spirituality, SPIRITUAL LIFE (Summer 2012)
Each installment will be posted on the web-page sequentially by bulletin date.
WEEK II SERIES ON HOPE
FEAR OF THE FUTURE:
Mary Paul Curti, OCD
Carmelite spirituality is steeped in the power and practice of the theological virtue of hope. The lives of our Carmelite saints mirrored the fruits of hope supported by the twofold wings of theological faith and love (charity). They have a message of hope for our postmodern world. These saints knew that hope rests upon the unconditional, steadfast love of our God, who is merciful and all-forgiving. Theirs was to trust that, beyond our human imaginings, God is always faithful, cannot deny himself, and, therefore, is completely trustworthy of his promises:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me,” Jesus said. (Jn 14:1)
This steadfast trust enabled St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross to say to her sister Rosa, when the Nazi police took them from her Carmelite monastery to be gassed in the concentration camp of Auschwitz, “Come Rosa, we go for our people.” Her strength was drawn from the self-giving love of Jesus.
Hope will challenge us. It will call us into deeper fidelity through purifying love and often through intense suffering. Hope thrives in persons whose prayer has brought them from doubt and anxiety to a peace that emerges from the gentle, persevering reliance upon God whom they know will never abandon them. What do we see in the people who lived consistently by hope? What sustained them during dark and stressful times? I will focus on three prime attitudes that will bring us to hopeful living:
- A ready acceptance of what is, even amidst stress, doubt, and pain:
- Enduring lovingly the conflicts of life and learning from them;
- Trusting in the unconditional power and presence of a God who loves and will not abandon us.
Acceptance of What Is
Richard Rohr in his book The Naked Now speaks of our need to “forgive reality for being exactly what it is right now.” It is so easy to slip into a mentality that wants to change every painful occurrence without learning the wisdom of maturing spiritually through all that happens to us. To see all the events and happenings of life as potential sources of wisdom is to open our hearts to God’s speaking through the here and now. To recognize in the ordinary events of our daily lives the word of God calling us home, which is our place of communion with God, is to live by faith and hope. It is to love all that God is doing even when we do not understand fully. It is to recognize that in this present moment God is communicating with me, inviting me to remain with him and to listen to the message he has for me this day: “Lord, teach me your ways and show me your Face. Help me to accept what is as the way to union with you. I believe and I trust You.”
Mary Paul Curti, OCD, is a founding member of the Carmel of the Assumption, Latrobe, PA. She has served in her community as Prioress, Councilor, Directress of Formation, and Treasurer. Her book, Sounding Solitude, was published by ICS in June of 2010.
MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS
- The Monday Night Group: July 25th at 6:30 PM
- The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00 PM.
St. Philip’s Players
Nunsense! Coming – September 16th & 17th
Come join us offstage. We welcome and will train parishioners for ALL technical positions, stage managers, and scenic designers. Call us at 973-607-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oktoberfest! Save the date: October 1st
St. Philip’s Players presents its first fundraiser for the theatre company. German food, beers, DJ music. If you enjoyed the St. Patrick’s dinner dance in the past, our fall party will be sure to match the fun and fellowship.
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