I began to face death and its implications very young. I could never have imagined then how many kinds of death there were to follow, one heaped upon another. The death that was the tragic loss of my country, Tibet, after the Chinese occupation. The death that is exile. The death of losing everything my family and I possessed ... for we had been among the wealthiest and most famous in Tibet.
from THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING by Sogyal Rinpoche
NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS, Dear Friends of Silence. What is your deepest, most heartfelt hope for this year? No doubt we all have many hopes and wishes as we usher in yet another new year. It is traditional to make "New Year’s Resolutions" when the year changes, but what if we made a list focused on our hopes for the year instead of making resolutions? What if we made only one resolution: to dwell in hope? How might we (and the world!) change if we truly live in hope? As we sit in silence daily, let’s reflect deeply on our hopes, for the world and for ourselves. We may be surprised by how it affects our lives and those around us!
Faith is a gift that comes, the gift of assurance that the powers of light have conquered and will keep on defeating the darkness. Hope is our own attitude of looking steadfastly toward that victory and trying to order our lives toward it. Faith and hope are far easier attitudes to live with than despair and disillusionment . . . so I deliberately choose to hope. Through hope and faith the inner journey has direction and a goal and meditation becomes a process of discovering the reality of Divine Love.
We cannot avoid the question of integrity or wholeness to which all of us proceed. We cannot exclude anyone from the process of becoming fully human, neither a woman nor a man. Personal experience is essential. God gives us the ability to experience ourselves and to assume relationships. As we develop this, we learn to overcome the tensions and the difficulties in life; and those times when there is a lack of love, we are given hope. We experience hope. The great thing about all this is the hope and the realization that it is within our reach.
The power of love is in hope, For by it we await the reward of love. The failing of hope is the disappearance of love. Hope is a rest from labors in the midst of labors. Toils depend on it. Mercy encircles it. Experiencing the gifts of the Giver of Life engenders hope. But he who is without experience remains in doubt.
from CHRIST THE ETERNAL TAO by Hieromonk Damascene
Narrow is the boundary of "now" and "not-yet" Deep and dark it stretches like an ancient passageway no map has ever marked. One by one we walk it step by solitary step. Not hand in hand, Not side by side, But sounding the distance with our tears. Hope is the chorus sounding, "Come!" Hope is the embrace, waiting to welcome. Hope is the companion, In-Between . . .
Sr. Mary Frances Fleischaker, thanks to Muriel Benz
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