ALL ABOUT HOPE
Symbols of Hope: The symbols pictured on the prayer card are ancient symbols of hope. Blue is the color of hope because our blue planet, sky and sea are the creation that mirror God’s love, our true hope. Since the days of Noah, Hope is represented by the Dove which returned to the ark carrying an olive branch which meant that there was dry land. The people’s hope was fulfilled and soon they would embrace the new life that God would provide. The anchor is a symbol of hope is often carved in early Christian catacombs. The anchor reminds us that hope keeps us safely in place in a storm. In peaceful seas the anchor is lifted, raising our spirits with freedom to sail forth as love in action. The line or rope on the anchor represents our life journey which spirals upward through the cross as we journey from our creation by God in glory to our ultimate hope in sharing eternal life with God in glory.
Hope for People of Faith: Hope is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a particular outcome in the future. For people of faith Hope is a trust in God’s Providence, faithfulness and promise to be with us always. Hope is the affirmation that “God’s power at work in us can accomplish far more than we could ever hope for or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20. Christian hope is a gift from God that can be experienced in prayer. The anagram of HOPE illustrates four aspects of prayer or prayer steps that can help us to experience God’s gift of hope in our daily lives.
Honesty Openness Perspective Endurance
Openness – consciously affirming God’s desire to do more from us than we can do for ourselves. Prayer opens us to the transformation of mind, heart and spirit.
Perspective – asking God to reveal in prayer new ways of seeing ourselves, others and circumstances. We learn to see more clearly with faith, in hope and with love.
Endurance – relying on the power of the Holy Spirit for courage, self-control, strength and inner peace.
Theme Prayer – Our Theme Prayer is simple, profound and a lovely affirmation that our HOPE lies, yesterday, today and forever, in the Lord.
HOPE Theme – Week I
Fr. Joe shares the story of a professional ocean swimmer who setting out on a twenty-six mile swim encounters fog. When our lives are shrouded in fog are spiritual in Christian HOPE helps us to continue forward and to flourish.
HOPE Theme – Week II
Fr. Nico shares a story about two famous people whose antipathy for one another led to a legendary and humorous repartee. You may never look at a couple of tea in exactly the same way.
HOPE Theme – Week III
Fr. Joe shares a humorous story about a young woman whose lack of Honesty and Openness to her own thoughts, feelings and behavior cause consequences in her professional life. Honesty and Openness enable us to love God and others with our full hearts, minds and souls.
HOPE Theme – Week IV
Fr. Joe hits a homerun with a Baseball story that is out of this world.
HOPE Theme – Week V
Fr. Matt takes us into an apple orchard on the foothills of the Himalayas where a Kashmiri grandfather or Budhebub reveals a secret to his grandson that contains a spirit of Wisdom older than the earth on which they stand. Bite into the sweet fruit of prayer to change your perspective and taste the grace of HOPE.
(Music: My Soul in Stillness Waits by Marty Haugen)
O Lord my God, in you I find my peace; truly my hope lies in you.
O Lord of Hope, our only light of glory,
Your radiance shines in honesty and truth;
Open to us the pathway of your peace.
O Lord of Hope, the source of Love in Action,
Bring new perspective for our eyes to see;
O give our hearts the grace of blest endurance.
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK I
Read prayerfully and reflectively the lines of our theme hymn.
- What are your honest thoughts and feelings about it?
- Which ideas or words surprise, comfort or annoy you? Discuss this with the Lord.
- What words or deeds will you speak or accomplish to be a sign of hope and love in action for someone
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK II
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK III
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK IV
- One is a reflection on the people in our lives who are now with the Lord. We will be praying about their particular gifts and how they helped us. Will be invited to reflect on how we continue passing on their good qualities whenever we are love in action.
- The 2nd reflection is inspired by a painting of Mary Magdalene by Perugino. We will take a look at the stages of grief that lead to healing as was Mary’s experience from the Lord’s death to his resurrection. Read More >>
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK V
- Perspective shapes our thoughts, feelings, spirit and actions. Reflecting through this practice invites us to a new experience through Physical Activity and through Reflection Questions that contain prayer steps. Read More >>
- Sr. Wendy Beckett offers a contemplative approach to spiritual reflection using the wonder of art. She reflects on The Battle of Issus and leads us on a journey of Changing Perspective. Read More >>
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK VI
- St. Paul teaches that faith, hope and love come from hearing the Word of God (2 Cor. 5:17). Join us in reflecting on the following Scripture passages that encourage Honesty in prayer, motivate Open hearts, shift Perspective and strengthen with the Grace of Endurance. Read More >>
- The Grace of Endurance is the strength that comes from seeing beyond what is obvious to the purpose and possibilities in situations where we are called to be faithful stewards. Sr. Wendy Beckett in her Book of Meditations on Art focuses on the sketching called GATE a work of simple beauty. May our reflection be a gate to the grace of an endurance. Read More >>
PROCEDURE AND INSTRUCTION – WEEK VII
- Our lives unfold like an upward spiral in which we circle through periods of desolation and consolation in this prayer practice we will affirm that God’s love. Read More >>
- Inspired by the image of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son we will prayerfully reflect on the theme of desolation and consolation that cycle in the story. Read More >>