October 27, 2008

Hope in Prayer

“Although you have never seen him, you love him and without seeing, you now believe in Him, and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory because you are achieving faith’s goal, your salvation” (1 Peter 1:8-9; Liturgy of the Hours, Thursday Evening, Week 1. Why pray? What good does prayer do when it leads to “empty results?” So were my thoughts as I knelt before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament this evening. So many people, especially our sisters and their relatives, are suffering due to illness or lost faith. What good is my prayer for them when it is “just going to happen anyway?”

“For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 62:5-6). It is HOPE that is the reason for my prayers and supplications and the virtue that helps me to persevere, even in the silence of seeking answers. It is hope in a God who is love and all-loving, a God who is merciful and all-knowing. It is hope in a God who IS and who daily reminds me that I AM NOT. Hoping in God is putting all our trust in him and having faith in his plan for our lives, even when that plan is seemingly full of questions. “The most beautiful Credo is the one we pronounce in our hour of darkness,” said Saint Padre Pio. It is hope, which is interchangeable with faith, that is a precious gift from God and to God when we are on the verge of despair.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan states in his book Called to be Holy that “faith...is the virtue by which we believe there is a God; hope is the virtue by which we trust that God keeps his promises!” What is his promise? If we believe in Him, we belong to him and we will have eternal life with him. If we hope in him, we see beyond the suffering of this present life and realize that it is only bringing us and our family members who are enduring trials closer to their Savior, Friend, and Beloved by suffering with him in order to enjoy eternal glory with him. This is the hope that keeps us praying and persevering. ---Sr. M. Clementia, FSGM

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