Life is still beautiful!



Hope and despair are not opposites. They are cut from the very same cloth, made from the very same material, shaped from the very same circumstances. Every life finds itself forced to choose one from the other, one day at a time, one circumstance after another. The sunflower, that plant which in shadow turns its head relentlessly toward the sun, is the patron saint of those in despair. When darkness descends on the soul, it is time, like the sunflower, to go looking for whatever good thing in life there is that can bring us comfort. Then we need music and hobbies and friends and fun and new thought-not alcohol and wild nights and immersion in the pain that is killing us. The worst thing is to dull rather than displace the pain with the kind of joy or comfort that makes us new. “Give light,” Erasmus wrote, “and the darkness will disappear of itself.”

The only difference between hope and despair is that despair shapes an attitude of mind. Hope creates a quality of soul. The Irish love to tell the story of Paddy McGarrity, who spent his life bemoaning all the circumstances of his life. Nothing satisfied him. But one particularly gracious summer day the sun burst out through the fog and rain of the country and spread over the Irish hills in a blaze of glory. Surely even Paddy would see the beauty of life in this! “Ho, Paddy,” the parish priest called to him over the fence. “Isn’t it a beauti-ful day!” “Ah, sure, Father,” Paddy moaned, “but will it last?”

Despair colors the way we look at things, makes us suspicious of the future, makes us negative about the present. Most of all, despair leads us to ignore the very possibilities that could save us, or worse, leads us to want to hurt as we have been hurt ourselves.

Hope, on the other hand, takes life on its own terms, knows that whatever happens God lives in it, and expects that, whatever its twists and turns, it will ultimately yield its good to those who live it consciously, to those who live it to the hilt.

When tragedy strikes, when trouble comes, when life disappoints us, we stand at the crossroads between hope and despair, torn and hurting. Despair cements us in the present. Hope sends us dancing around dark corners trusting in a tomorrow we cannot see because of the multiple pasts of life which we cannot forget. Despair says that there is no place to go but here.

When I say that I am in despair, I am really saying that I have given up on God. Despair says that I am God and if I can’t do anything about this situation, then nothing and nobody can.

Despair is the affliction of the small-minded who have not so much lost their faith as they have lost their memory. Hope says, remember where you have been before and know that God is waiting for you someplace else now, to go on again to something new.

Life is not one road. It is many roads, the walking of which provides the raw material outofwhich we find hope in the midst of despair.

Every dimension of the process of struggle is a call to draw from a well of new understandings. It is in these understandings that hope dwells. It is that wisdom that carries us beyond the dark night of struggle to the dawn of new wisdom and new strength.

6 responses

  1. Dallas

    How wonderfully insightful! Worth reading not just once but many times! Thank you so much for sharing this! Hope is all that keeps me going so much of the time. Hope is a very good friend to have. 🙂
    Wishing you a very sweet weekend!!

    January 18, 2008 at 21:33

  2. Nozee

    wow – a lot to think about before I will even try to say anything.> Le Snoop

    January 18, 2008 at 21:50

  3. n

    Your writing is so inspiring, like Legabriel here, hope is what keeps me going, not dispair.  And my darling you are happiness to I hope you know that.  Aren’t you glad it’s Friday, I bet you do.  I have a hard time with facebook lately, it won’t let me go in.  I think I have to delete many things, it gets so full, maybe that’s why it get slow, take good care my dear, and I hope you a  blessed weekend and everything is fine. xxxluvya dear

    January 18, 2008 at 22:17

  4. Greg

    Very good…Perect timing for me to read too…Thank you.
    Have a wonderful weekend and the peace of God be throughout your home.

    January 18, 2008 at 23:06

  5. Romeo


    .. * . (\ *** /) * . *.*.*..*.*..*.*..* .* . * ( \(_)/ ) * * . .* . * (_ /|\ _) . * . .* . * . /___\ * . . * . * . *.*. * .¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.• •*´¨`*•.¸
    ╔╗║║╔═╦╦╦═╗*. . *║╚╣║║║║╩╣* * * ~ROBERT~╚═╩═╩═╩═╝.*.* HAVE A GREAT WEEKENDLondon Times Obituary of the late ‘Common Sense’Interesting and sadly rather true.’Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, whohas been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. Hewill be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets theworm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend morethan you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are incharge).His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned butoverbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boycharged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspendedfrom school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired forreprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing thejob that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.It declined even further when schools were required to get parentalconsent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; butcould not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted tohave an abortion.Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;and criminals received better treatment than their victims.Common Sense took a beating when youcouldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglarcould sue you for assault.Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed torealize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little inher lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; hiswife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. Heis survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now,Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. Ifyou still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and donothing.’

    January 18, 2008 at 23:32

  6. Sininen

    Today I choose Hope.. going to work. Blessings…<3<3<3

    January 19, 2008 at 07:11

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