“Why are you cast down, my Soul. Why groan within me? HOPE in God; I will Praise Him still….” (PS 43:5)
Yesterday, I spoke of a perceptible emptiness I called, Faith. Today, it’s all about HOPE. I believe as Christians of this 21st century, we are in dire need of some language revisions to better communicate our spiritual journeys to each other. The language of years passed served the times for which they were intended. But, unfortunately, those same word choices now carry the baggage of their years, as their meaning seems no longer to establish their original intention in a positive way. One such word is, Grace.
In my youth, Grace was always one of those words that I had to accept as meaning something I could in no way see, feel, touch, taste or hear, yet it was a very real thing in the spiritual life of all Christians. I knew I was in a “state of Grace” whenever I went to Confession and did my Penance. I knew that receiving the Sacraments gave me Grace. I knew because I was taught as much.
Here I now am as an Adult. I have seen much failure, disappointment, un-happy endings, illness, deaths and suffered many losses, unforeseen changes, relationship issues, and so on…as have we all. So, what of Hope, now that all the old definitions have lost their meaning? It took me a while and several Meditation sessions to comprehend Hope in an entirely new way…as the perceivable Grace. Why? Because that was the way it kept coming to me. It wasn’t my idea. But there it was…
During my time of processing, I again became Aware that, much like we already discovered with Faith, we all have spiritual faculties that can perceive very delicate energies, if we are attuned to them. But we must learn, through our Spiritual Practices and Disciplines, to focus our Attention on these energies, rather than on the more dense energies of our five senses.
What I found was that with HOPE, there IS the perceivable Grace manifesting itself as something like Wonder in the face of what is unknown, unseen and beyond our rational Mind to understand, but, yet, a thing of Certainty. We KNOW something. Something greater than what our circumstances are showing us. When life is upside down and we have exhausted all possibilities to rectify it, it is Faith that first steps into the Void our helplessness leaves us in. A certain letting go from deep within that we learn to sense, followed by an acceptance of a sort. Nothing in our circumstances or in the world of our 5 senses has changed. But we Know through a different way of perceiving that we have, in fact, experienced an interior change that is undeniable. Only then, HOPE is born! If you think about that moment, you will recognize that actual, dimly perceivable moment when Hope is suddenly there and a new energy to move forward has been activated within. And you understand that you can Trust that “something”. That… that Moment of Perceivable GRACE… HOPE!