July 24, 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 III SERIES ON HOPE
FEAR OF THE FUTURE:
Loving Endurance of Conflicts
Mary Paul Curti, OCD
What would happen if, during times of conflicts, we were to face our fears with a listening heart? What could be learned if we were attentive to what is being asked of us during painful circumstances? Perhaps we could hear something else beside the futile fear of helplessness. We might recognize the self-knowledge that is being given to us and the possibility of replacing our fears with the hope that knows God has a purpose for these times of inevitable trial. If I am to learn, here and now the meaning of today’s trials, I need to be persistent in prayer, patient in waiting on God, receiving light and wisdom from long-suffering. These are the virtues that will give us perseverance, strengthening of character, and a positive attitude stilled in peace.
If we stay with the struggle and live by hope, we will begin to see the wounding realities of life as a meeting ground for deeper realities to emerge as a new creation from the ashes of destruction. Contraries then can morph, gently and gradually, into a new creation to which hope gives birth, as St. Paul explains:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (Rom 8:18)
Hope implies following the Holy Spirit’s pace, as God’s transformation of our inner selves gives birth to another Christ rising from the tomb. We are transformed by painful situations if we rely upon God and listen to his message coming to us in this present moment.
Trusting in the Faithful God
When life is filled with multiple burdens that press on us like falling boulders, how do we quell the fears that fall just as heavily? Fear of what will happen next, when we have more than enough to cope with now, leaves us paralyzed. Jesus says, “Fear not for I am with you.” He, too, knew the grips of fear when, prior to his passion, Jesus, deeply stressed, spoke to the Father:
Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – “Father, save me from this hour?” No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name. (Jn 12:27-28)
Jesus is our model for the trust we are to nurture. Trusting so will not necessarily relieve the pain or suffering in our lives, but it will sustain us to endure in solidarity with Christ and with our eyes fixed upon the Father who loves us. The reason Jesus gives for Christian fearlessness is that, in the end, the truth will triumph. The hope here given is an eschatological one. The last word will be God’s, when his promise of fullness of life will be our pledge of glory fulfilled. Enduring with Christ becomes our union with the Father’s will, as surely as Jesus embraced it in his earthly life. In hope we enter the flow of love passing between the heart of Jesus and ours in mutual self-giving. John of the Cross assures us: “It is fitting that the soul be in this sepulcher of dark death in order that it attain the spiritual resurrection for which it hopes.”
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, Aug. 8th & 22nd at 6:30 PM
- The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, July 27th, Aug. 10th & 24th 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.
Our very own accompanist Marc Pannullo and cantor Rachel Zegler have been very busy this summer rehearsing for the Bergen PAC’s production of Les Miserables. Marc has been working as the rehearsal pianist and will be part of the ensemble. Rachel will be playing the part of Cosette.
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