The confident desire of obtaining a future good that is difficult to attain. It is therefore a desire, which implies seeking and pursuing; some future good that is not yet possessed but wanted, unlike fear that shrinks from a future evil. This future good draws out a person's volition. Hope is confident that what is desired will certainly be attained. It is the opposite of despair. Yet it recognizes that the object wanted is not easily obtained and that it requires effort to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way. (Etym. Latin spes, hope.)
It is the hope, the confidence, in something much more wonderful than this world awaiting us, the hope in a perfect someONE guiding, protecting, and loving us that gives me strength to face each new day. I have been praying that through my struggles God would allow me to be a witness of such hope to others, but most especially to my children. I want to be a witness of a faith that has been tried, tested, and shown true even in the midst of such anguish. I do have that "confident desire" of obtaining peace in my soul again, that we will find joy again. I also know, have experienced, that this journey is not without its obstacles nor walked without great effort. Some of the most simple tasks of my day require the greatest effort to accomplish. But, little by little, one step at a time, we are moving forward.
I still have my moments of tears, of confusion, of loneliness, of anger. In those moments, though, I remember the words of our Lord, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)" What does it mean to take up one's cross? In the previous verse (9:22) Jesus said that the Son of Man would suffer greatly. Should our cross then be without suffering? It is through our suffering that we come face to face with the cross of Christ. It is in our loneliless that we meet Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is in our struggle to bear the weight of our cross that we walk beside the Lord as He struggles to carry His. And it is in the moment of our deepest anguish, when we finally cry out "into your hands, Father, I commend my spirit," when we truly lay down our own life (our dreams, our desires, our will) that we begin to understand what Christ did for us and allow Him to change us and strengthen us. This is the moment when HOPE begins to take root in the depths of the soul. It is in the moments when I share my tears and sorrows, confusion and loneliless with the Lord in prayer that my soul finds its refuge and courage.
As I continue to carry this cross I know I will fall in moments of weakness. I know I will stumble many times in the days ahead. But as Christ did not carry His cross alone, I am not carrying mine alone. As the women and children gathered around Christ and wept tears, I have shared my tears with family and friends. Just as Simon helped bear the weight of Christ's cross, I have been blessed with family, friends, and even strangers to help share the load I must carry. And just as Christ's Mother walked the steps to Calvary with her Son, so too, does she walk each step beside me. The sorrows of our Blessed Mother has brought me such comfort and her courage fuels my own. Yes, I can say with certainty, I do not walk alone and in this I have hope.