Upon reading the Fourth Volume of The Book of Heaven, by Luisa Piccarreta, I came to realize an essential aspect of hope, namely that hope is the nourishment of love.
Luisa starts rather lengthy volume in this way:
Since in the past days my adorable Jesus had not made Himself seen so much, I was feeling diffident about the hope of reacquiring Him again; even more, I believed that everything was over for me: visits of Our Lord and state of victim. However, this morning blessed Jesus came, wearing a horrible crown of thorns, and placed Himself near me, moaning, in the act of wanting a refreshment. So I removed it very gently, and to give Him more pleasure I put it on my head. Then He said to me: “My daughter, true Love is when It is sustained by Hope, and persevering Hope, because if today I hope and tomorrow I do not, Love becomes infirm. In fact, since Love is nourished by Hope, the more nourishment It administers to It, the stronger, more robust and more lively Love becomes. And if this is missing, poor Love becomes infirm first, and remaining alone, without support, It ends up dying completely. Therefore, as great as your difficulties may be, you must never, even for one instant, move away from Hope with the fear of losing Me. On the contrary, you must act in such a way that, overcoming everything, Hope may make you found always united with Me, and then Love will have perennial life.” After this, He continued coming without telling Me anything else.
Do I have true love for Jesus? Is it sustained by hope, a persevering hope? When were the times when I had hope today and the follow day I lost it? How did my love become? Was it strong or did it really grow infirm? If hope is the nourishment of love up to the point that it becomes stronger, more robust and more lively, thanks to hope, am I asking Jesus to rekindle the fire of perseverant hope? In this life, which is so short, do I afford to live with an infirm love for God and others? What shall I do when my difficulties become so great? Will I move away from hope and loose Jesus or choose to act in a manner that, by His grace, while overcoming everything, let Jesus unite me to Himself? How would my life be if Love for Jesus and through Him, for others, will become perennial, never-ending?
Let us be encouraged by what the Word of God powerfully tells us in the Letter to the Romans:
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us (Rom 5:3-5).
Now I can truly understand why Pope Francis, our beloved Pope, likes to say: “There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says: ‘I am with you until the end of the world.’ Yes! Jesus says it; I believe it; and that settles it!
Heavenly father, I am your humble servant,
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I feel helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Some say that the sky is at it’s
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light from
head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world,
as you have planned, and as you want
it to be.
Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap