Sunday, 20 January 2008

Life with hope

I just want to write a small note on the fact that we are now 4 months in the noviciate. This means that we have about 1/3 of the whole year done... it is amazing how time passes by. Not that is seems like yesterday that we started, or that the time was empty, but it just seems to pass so quick!

I guess that this is a good sign. If time goes quick it is often an indication that one is enjoying it, and that is defiantly the case with me!

Being a Catholic for about 5 years now it strikes me over and over again how rich our belief is. This life, in my experience is definitely my way to life this belief, but more general I think it is just amazing the depth it has, the fullness, the fulfillment towards us being true human beings.

The popes encyclical "Spe Salvi" talks about hope, and the lack of hope in our modern society. The hope that is put in man made systems, and the expectations that are put on science and politics to make this world an utopia. The expectations to undo "the fall", to learn to control it.
He, the pope, points out that the only place where we find genuine hope is in the Church, through our faith, as he explains that hope is the same as faith. There is off course a lot more in the encyclical, and I encourage anybody to read it, but I I find this a striking point.

Before I became a catholic, I would have had put hope in things to come, in a career, in marriage, having a family. To the end of my studies I discovered that God existed, and found the fullness of hope in God. I figured out since that the hope that one can have in work, as I had a good job, and other earthly things are just ways, in my opinion, of comforting our inner unease we have with our lives. The current moment is often not what we expect, there is something missing. It is not as it used to be, or it is not as we expected. We experience some sort of restlessness, and try to find a way out of that. We try to find hope, and often look in the wrong place...

A lot of people nowadays put this hope on things like money, but they don't last. As we can see, rich people are often not happy people. They can buy anything they want, and have almost everything you can think of. They try to buy their happiness, their fulfillment but the more they try, the more they find out that they cannot buy it, and this might lead to despair. This despair might then in some extreem cases lead to the flight to drink, drugs, sex or other temporal means of seeking fulfillment.
For people who are not as well off it is almost the same, but their despair might be that they think they might be happy if they could buy everything like a rich person, but they cannot.

In both cases, hope and happiness are sought in earthly things, in material goods, in things we can control ourselves.This is not where we are going to find hope. Hope is faith, and faith is faith in God. God is where our heart rest, it is where we find the peace deep down in our being. It is not an ideal, not a flight from reality. No instead it is a full embrace of reality, a full embrace of the world. God gives us the wisdom to see the world, to see what it is about, to see the beauty in it, to see the beauty in our fellow humans., and also the beauty of the now and the current moment. Hope is a touch of Gods love in our hearts, a peaceful settlement.

Coming back to the fullness of our faith, I think it is so amazing that the knowledge of God is so long around, and that there are so little people who know it, and who life it as well. It is not a theory, it is a way of life. I am just so amazed that this fullness of life is know by so few, and not accepted. This included myself, I didn't know it, and it makes my heart wants to scream out to tell the world about the beauty they are missing. I want to see Gods love to come over people as a wave, taking them, and carrying them to life everlasting, and indeed also love everlasting.

Let us try and become people of God, let us try to be the light of the world, sings pointing towards Him. I know and realise myself, especially being in the noviciate, that this is a life long challenge, and a daily choice, something one has to work on every day. Trying to be a saint is not easy, and as for me, ask the brethren I life with how far off I am from anything near someone out of whom the light of God is shining. We have to try on a daily basis though, and not give up. There is hope there too, and with Gods help even I might get a bit nearer before the end of my life!

As for the noviciate, I thank God for every minute of it, even if I don't always feel like it! 2/3 of the year ahead, and we will see what happens after that... I life in hope!

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