With Eyes that See the Hope

Posted by Sister Pat Thomas on May 1, 2013 8:30:25 AM

I love driving to work these days. The flowering trees, the tiny green buds of leaves, daffodils and petunias popping out of the ground, baby animals tripping through the woods with their moms, kids walking to school without coats or heavy boots—these and more are signs of new life and new possibilities. It is easy now to believe that life is good, that all is not hopeless in spite of the tragedies that have occurred recently. It is not impossible to believe that life is holy and special. It is easier to see the blessings of life.
Yet how do we see our world most days? If our view comes only through our very human vision, then phrases such as “suicide bombers,” “weapons of mass destruction,” “global warming,” “bullying,” “human trafficking,” and images of places like Auschwitz, Rwanda, Columbine, Newtown, Ground Zero, and now Boston support a vision of the world as frightening, ugly, unhealthy, violent and sin filled. Our vision is dimmed by the human frailty we all carry within us. It gives us the sense that whatever we see is fleeting, no good thing can last very long, and there is probably something not so good just waiting around the next turn.
What we need is a sacramental vision, the ability to see life in all its promise. The basis of a sacramental vision is the fundamental notion that all life is sacred and holy. We experience so much pain in our world that we can easily lose sight of the graces waiting for us. A sacramental vision encourages and guides us to seek opportunities to experience healing. It helps us to be more aware and alert to the grace-filled moments that we might otherwise overlook. These are the moments that strengthen us when things go wrong, mistakes are made, and problems persist.
A sacramental vision does not come naturally. This kind of vision comes through our spiritual lives, through faith nourished by prayer, and participation in the saving graces of baptism, Eucharist, reconciliation, and taking every opportunity to build hope and peace in our lives. Participation in the rituals of our faith strengthens our vision and maintains hope in the midst of difficult events.
Here’s what I know. We will remain blind to true hope until we accept God’s grace in our life. We will remain in a kind of fog until we accept our need to rely on God and God’s promise which has been fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What do you think?
Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and loves working with Young Adults as the program manager of Theology on Tap.

Sister Pat Thomas

Written by Sister Pat Thomas

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