As you read this, I will be motoring through Iowa and South Dakota today. But thanks to the technology offered by WordPress, I write this several days ago as part of my observance of a month of Ignatian spirituality, in honor of the founder, whose feast day is Friday.
We talk about hope a lot. I hope I get to my new home safely by Wednesday night. I hope my wife will find the Pacific Northwest a healthier environment for her physical well-being. I hope the young miss will find a life’s purpose. I hope serving a new community will be an opportunity of grace.
I liked Marina McCoy’s post last Fall on hope and the Examen. Newbie practitioners focus on the review of the day. I know I did. But Professor McCoy reminds the reader that the full Examen asks us to notice present, past, and future in that order. Consider:
One great reason for hope for the future is recalling how God has been with us in the past. We cannot see into the future and know exactly how God will bring good out of difficulty. However, we can remember when and where God has brought good out of past suffering. This is the centerpiece of the Gospels and the heart of the Christian story: the transformation of the suffering and death of Jesus into the Resurrection and new life.
My daily lectio has me close to the end of the book of Sirach. Last week, on my last weekday in the office, I was struck by this passage:
Then I remembered your mercy, O Lord,
and your kindness* from of old (51:8a)
New opportunities await, old kindness will be maintained through the present recollection of it, and strengthened as God presents his mercy anew in small ways and great.