Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hope and the heart

Grace is nothing less than God sharing divine with us, the very same life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The essence of the divine life is love. Hence, we are givers of grace whenever we put others before ourselves, just as Jesus Christ did over and again. Indeed, as Msgr. Giussani taught us "the affirmation of Another [is] the meaning of the self" (Is It Possible, vol 2, pg 97). This Other, of course, is Christ, who came to reveal our true identities as children of God by rebirth in baptism. Each day of this octave the liturgy reminds over and over of our baptism and the call that arises from our dying and rising to new life in imitation of our Lord.

I have been struggling hard with something. It is not a big thing to anyone but me. Yesterday, as I was really struggling, feeling hurt and angry, the Lord gave me a word: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21). I was laying in bed later, having just finished evening prayer, when I felt that I needed to pick up Is It Possible to Live This Way?: An Unusual Approach to Christian Existence, vol. 2, which we are reading in School of Community. We are still on chapter 2, which is about the need for poverty, for detachment. Too often I put my hope where it does not belong. Our hope is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth and in no one and nothing else, unless I want to see my hope turn to ashes in my hands.


  1. I am sorry, Scott. I am praying for you and your beautiful family. I am struggling with something of a similar nature.

  2. We'll pray for each other. Thank you, not just for your prayers, but for your friendship, for your witness to the One who satisfies our souls.

  3. I can so relate to this with some of my struggles. The fight seems to go on and on until something happens and suddenly I am able to yield. It's a strange process, something like knowing and not knowing, or just needing to ask for grace. One day I found that after reading, reasoning, etc. and getting nowhere that confession was what finally freed me and I was so glad. Thanks to both of you, my friends.

  4. Thank you, Sharon. I guess I am waiting for that something to happen. I am softening a bit.

  5. I think I get the necessity of poverty and detachment to a degree. Of course I am still learning every day! The part about detachment that troubles me, is that I know I need companions. I need friends. Not a swarm of people around me always, but people I can connect with especially about my faith. Christ is there when we connect that way, and I desperately need that in my life.

    I am grateful for your friendship too Scott.

  6. Thanks, Tami. As you point out, companionship is very different from just having people around you. Companions are those who walk with you, those with whom, as the origin of the word indicates, you share bread. Detachment is not a recognition that we do not need anything or anyone. Rather, it means discerning, not merely what we need, but what we desire and the source of satisfaction- Christ.

    Friendship in Christ, which is true companionship, is a necessity, not a luxury, a conclusion arrived at through discernment, which is nothing other living the reality of our lives, such as they are. Stated more directly, it is a conclusion reached through experience.


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