Hope is found within the heart of faith
By Rev. Paul Wolf, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Winsted
As we move into the Lenten season, it seems that one of the primary tasks we face is to come to know ourselves better.
Self-knowledge is a basic building block of our spiritual lives. When we are able to look deeply into ourselves and discover the empty spaces we find there, we will have taken the first necessary step towards avoiding temptations and coming closer to God. Then, hopefully, we will allow the Lord into those empty parts of our lives.
As we enter into this season of Lent, how do we prepare ourselves to face the hardships, difficulties, sufferings, and death that are part of the story of the passion, death, and resurrection, and our every day life?
Our first step in preparing for the worst is accepting reality. We all have to die. Many of us will have to suffer. It doesn't matter if we want to or not.
Fighting against reality doesn't change it. It usually just makes it worse. Acceptance is still a basic spiritual attitude that most of us will probably have to work on till our dying day.
We can still have questions, and we can still get angry at the way things are, but that still won't change reality.
Jesus knew that the coming days would be horrible ones. He was walking into a time in his life which he would have rather avoided.
Didn't he ask the Father to let the cup of suffering pass him by? And yet, he also said, "Not my will, but Thine be done."
Take note of the fact that Jesus went up the mountain to pray. Prayer can help us immensely when it comes to forming an attitude of acceptance.
As we try to make our way through the maze of suffering and death, the second step is one of hope and expectation.
Saint Paul declares that our citizenship is in heaven, as our homeland is heaven. This deep faith in the unseen and the unknown seems, to many people, as simply an escape from life.
Faith is not an escape. It is the most wonderful gift that God could give to us because within the heart of faith, we find hope.
May we allow the God of love to pour this faith into our hearts as we continue our Lenten journey.