Reflection – Hope and Despair
Paraphrased from Thomas Merton:
How close God is to us when we come to a point in our lives
that we know and accept our desperation
and cast our care entirely upon Him.
Against all human expectation He sustains us
when we need to be sustained,
helping us to do what seemed impossible.
We learn to know Him … really know Him …
not as we conjure Him in our imaginative powers
- a presence in which we dress Him in our own finery –
but in the emptiness of a hope that may come close to despair.
For perfect hope
is achieved on the brink of despair when,
instead of falling over the edge, we find ourselves walking on the air.
Hope is always just about to turn into despair,
but never does so,
for at the moment of supreme crisis
God's power is suddenly made perfect in our infirmity.
So we learn to expect
His mercy most calmly when all is most dangerous,
to seek Him quietly in the face of peril, certain that He cannot fail us.