|. Shalom Place||
The Five Consents
Co-operating with the Spirit to Grow in Grace
by Philip St. Romain, M.S., D. Min.
Begins Lent, 2008, and continues indefinitely . . .
|Week One, #6
The very least you can do in this life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.
- Barbara Kingsolver
There are two deep movements at work in the universe: one toward higher, more complex forms of creation, and the other toward decay and dissolution (entropy). The latter moves us to numbness, apathy, addiction, and death; the former to consciously living to the full. We can sense these movements in our consciousness in many ways, and when we give ourselves over to one, the other is weakened, to some extent. Though we shall all one day die and our bodies return to dust, there are countless witnesses to the sustaining power of creative, higher consciousness in all cultures and religions. About Moses, for example, the Hebrew scripture notes: Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye undimmed, his vigor unimpaired. (Deuteronomy 34: 7).
Hope is the attitude that enables us to face the future with the courage to make the First Consent. Different from and deeper than optimism, hope simply believes that the best is yet to come. Things might have to fall apart, at times, but hope can pull us through, if we have the right kind, that is. It has to be worthy of a human life, and strong enough to sustain lifes many challenges. Without hope, we are overcome by our pains, struggles, and the negativity we see around us. How tragic it is when hope is lost! Perhaps the lesson during those times is that our hope was too small?
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What are your deepest hopes and dreams? What is the basis of this hope? How do evil, suffering and death challenge your hope?