Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Joy and Hope

Prudence is one of the Cardinal Virtues, and Wisdom is the first of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Both of these virtues are necessary for a life well lived, and they help our  minds to  look on  reality correctly. Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit, because it is the perfection of  faith. And might we not say that prudence is the way we apply wisdom to our daily life?

In a pastoral bulletin, the writer reflects on his work as a pastor and the desire for wisdom and prudence in his work and what he has learned in relating with his parishioners.  One of the most important words he uses is joy and hope. However, in his work with the problems many have, he meets many who are not happy and have lost hope. When he meets those with joy and hope he is glad and thankful.

He confesses  that he finds it difficult to relate with persons who lack joy and hope and is fearful of meeting them and wants to avoid them. In prison work he meets many who are ex-convicts and who are overcome with sadness and lack hope, and often do not receive help from their families, and many of these are young people. 

In his sermons and in his teaching, he stresses that one can find joy in sadness, and hope in despair: when one is in a hole one is able to obtain much, light when it is dark has more meaning for us, when we lose something  we have more to gain-- similar flowery language has something to tell us.

When he meets people who are not happy and have little hope he is very thankful for the gift that he has of joy and hope. However, when he is feeling low he is not in anyway consoled to know that there are other people who are less happy than he is. We compare ourselves with others, and determine our satisfaction and non-satisfaction. We know that we are different from others but this is not what is important, we need to respect the other; we know this with our heads but it is not actualized in our daily lives.

Instead of accepting and respecting others, selfishly he considers himself different from them. When I consider that I am with the poor and do not live the poor life I am not one with them.  Joy and hope, sadness and despair when we look deeply into these feelings and are able to enter into the feelings of those without joy and hope are we not in a position to understand joy and hope, sadness and despair?

1 comment:

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