Lenten Devotion for Day 14 March 8, 2023

The Good Courage writer for today was pretty candid about her reluctance to write about despair. She comes around to the realization that in spite of herself, she can look back, and track a path from despair to renewed life.

I’m glad she got there. I think having lived through terrible things, and come out the other side, strengthens us for whatever may lay ahead. This is not an original thought (are there any?) on the topic.

One person who I think has said it very well is Sr. Joan Chittister, who is a Benedictine Sister in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a well known author, speaker, and leader. Here is an excerpt from a post she wrote on Hope:

“Hope is not insane optimism in the face of palpable evil or dire circumstances. It is not the shallow attempt of well-meaning but facile friends to “cheer us up” in bad times. It’s not the irritating effort of ill-at-ease counselors who work to make us “reframe” our difficulties so that everyone around us will not have to deal with them, too. No, hope is not made of denial. Hope is made of memories.

Hope reminds us that there is nothing in life we have not faced that we did not, through God’s gifts and graces—however unrecognized at the time—survive. Hope is the recall of good in the past, on which we base our expectation of good in the future, however bad the present. It digs in the rubble of the heart for memory of God’s promise to bring good out of evil and joy out of sadness and, on the basis of those memories of the past, takes new hope for the future. “

Chittister’s view of hope, which I would sum up as, “God brought us through in the past, so we can trust God will be there for us this time,” is helpful. It’s also the kind of counsel I hesitate to offer. I”d be more inclined to ask the person what they’d been through in the past, with the “hope” that they’d reach a similiar conclusion after digging through the rubble of their own memories.

I also totally understand when people don’t want to talk about it!


  1. pastoral says:

    Hеy are using WordPress fօr your blog platfoгm?
    І’m new to the blog world but І’m trying to gеt started
    аnd set up my own. Do you гequire any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any һelp would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Darrow says:

      Yes, I use Word Press. I am definitely not a coder!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s