Too often the world we live in is cynical and skeptical and filled with negative humor, but among people of all faith, and even among those of no faith, the mood in our culture warms in these weeks leading up to Christmas. Somewhere deep inside, we all hope. The world sends us messages like, “hope is for fools,” or “don’t hope and you won’t be disappointed.” But hope is central to the Christian life.
The opening lines and closing lines of a book can take weeks to get just right. I closed Rediscover Catholicism with the following paragraphs, because it was the message of hope that I wanted readers to take forth into their families, parishes, and the world . . .
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. Hope is one of those things that you can’t buy, but that will be freely given to you if you ask. Hope is the one thing people cannot live without. Hope is a thing of beauty.
I hope . . .
I hope I can live up to the gifts and talents God has given me. I hope I can have the courage to be a true friend, a good father, and a loving husband. I hope I never stop striving to become the-best-version-of-myself. I hope I will continue to take time to listen to the voice of God each day. I hope I will have the courage to follow where his voice leads me. I hope we can build a world where our children can grow free and strong. And I hope we grow wise enough to realize that we have no better ally than Catholicism in achieving these hopes.
I hope . . . and that is a wonderful thing. Join me in that hope and together we will awaken all men and women to discover the incredible dream God has for their lives and for the world.”
Everything we do offers people hope or robs them of hope. Our virtue conveys hope. Our generosity, kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness all convey hope to a world desperate to believe that the things God promises can and should be hoped for.
This Christmas, let us, as Christians, once again bring hope to the world in our own way and in our own place.
May God bless you and all those you love,