What Gives You Hope?

Pat Dual
Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP

As the year 2021 continues to unfold, in both challenge and hope, I know that I am not alone in the effort to focus on hope during these unprecedented times.  I find that hope comes in different ways and often quite unexpectedly.  We can never really predict how or when the Spirit will break into our reality to inspire us and renew our hope.  One such moment for me was during the inauguration of President Joe Biden. Young poet, Amanda Gorman, and her recitation of her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” inspired me, along with millions of others, to see the light of hope after darkness. It was a remarkable moment that made me feel great hope for the future.

My ministry of journeying with women in formation also fills me with great hope for the future.  I journey closely with those seeking to answer the call to religious life.  I witness the God-given gifts they bring to this life—gifts of openness to mission and service, openness to diversity, inclusion, and justice.  They are open to living in inter-generational and inter-cultural communities and are signs of great hope during a time of divisiveness and inequity in our society.  It is inspiring and hopeful to witness God at work in their lives and hearts, even amid the challenges of our times and the isolation of a pandemic.

For me, the last stanza of Amanda Gorman’s poem fully embodies the virtue of hope.  However, the most significant part of this stanza are the last three lines which speak of a hope that we all need. These words also express the great hope that I see in religious life and all who choose to embrace this call, both now and in the future:

“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Knowing that God continues to call women to consider religious life is one thing that gives me hope. What is one thing that gives you hope?

If you are open to being a light for hope—join us!  Contact us to get started.

Posted in God Calling?

7 responses to “What Gives You Hope?

  1. I had a bad fall 3 yrs.ago that disabled me quite a bit. It resulted in my going into a depression that still exists. Hope has been one of the missing words from my vocabulary ever since. After reading some of your blogs I tried to focus on any hope I still had. I started thinking of all the times I had experienced severe setbacks and how God always seemed to bring me through them. When I truly focused on this, HOPE started to open me up a little. I need to make a concerted effort to keep on going, which is my goal for focus during this Lent! Thank you.

  2. Dear Sr. Pat,
    It is so good to hear our sisters share what gives them hope. The two experiences you shared also filled with new life. I would add Sr. Thea Bowman also gives me hope when I read her life story. Yes, we have many great lights in our world today if we eyes to see them and ears to hear.
    You, Pat, are a great light as well and thank you for all the gifts you share with our new sisters.
    Blessings and peace, Brigid

  3. Thank you so much Pat for your reflections on this blog. I do believe there is HOPE now that you help me to see by your words. There is been times in the last couple of years that I lost my hope, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And I liked how you ended it with the last words from Amanda Gorman’s poem that embodies HOPE.

  4. One thing that gives me hope, Pat is YOU! Your willingness to be with us as we make small steps to shine light on our unawareness and unconsclousiness of our white supremacy, your wisdom as you walk closely with our newer members, your deep faith in the future – all give me great hope and affection for you, even though I rarely ever see you in person. Thanks!

  5. Pat
    Thank you for the thoughts and thank you for being your own hope filled symbol to us all!
    Margaret Mary

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