Sometimes it feels like we have been “waiting in darkness” for so long, especially since the beginning of this pandemic. Lauren Thompson says in her book, Hope is an Open Heart: “sometimes hope feels far away, but hope is always there. (…) Hope is always there inside you, waiting to unfold.”
Last weekend, some of us participated in an online retreat, titled, “Waiting in joyful hope.” Sr. Anne Kilbride, OP, offered a prayerful and insightful reflection about the essence of waiting, hope, and joy as she shared quotes by Meister Eckhart, who was our spiritual companion during the retreat.
We might be beaten down or fatigued by current events or the pandemic, however, Sr. Anne helped us recognize that the God of compassion and the God of hope is always with us, or as Eckhart said: “trust that you already have God in your heart, for God is always already there, and in that trust, you will find God…” Sr. Anne reminded us with the words of Eckhart, that this experience depends on the quality of our lives and whether we have enough space for God. She then encouraged us to let go of things that keep us from experiencing God, so that we can become free to be more loving.
How can we experience God and free ourselves to become more loving? Eckhart says: “What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we reap in the harvest of action.” In other words, Sr. Anne explained: “it is in contemplation that hope is born into action.”
Let us begin this new Liturgical year with hope. We hope that these songs below might inspire you during this Advent season, or they might help you experience and contemplate God. How can you cultivate hope at this time?
May we re-kindle our hope in God, and that our hope can be born into action as we prepare the way of the Lord by making God’s love and compassion known to all.
Christ be our Light
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Jesus, Hope of the world
The King shall come when morning dawns
Light of the World
My soul in stillness waits
O Come Divine Messiah
O Come O Come Emmanuel (Phil Whickham)
O Lord of Light who made the starts
People look East
To You, o Lord, I lift my soul
Waiting in silence, waiting in hope
We have this hope