God is Hope … God is Joy

Bishop Joe’s final talk to us was on hope. As a Catholic school teacher and a young Catholic Sister, let me tell you, hope is very important!

In hope, I believe my students will continue to thrive as they grow up. In hope, I believe my Benedictine community will flourish for all time. In hope, I believe Jesus walks with us every minute.

Nevertheless, my hope can grow faint over many matters.

When I try every last trick in the book to help a student who continues to struggle, it’s hard not to feel defeated.

When I work to help bolster school enrollment to keep our doors open as other schools falter, it’s hard not to feel discouraged.

When I worry about my loving and wonderful sister, MacKenzie, and what will become of her (she has a developmental disability) someday, it’s hard not to panic.

When I worry about the sometimes-divisive state of the Catholic church, it’s hard not to lose hope.

But Bishop Joe reminded us that God IS hope … and that is a wonderful reminder for me. No matter how dire things seem, God really is in charge. I can put my worries in God’s hands, which is where they belong.

Hope hopes directly in God.

Bishop Joe concluded with a beautiful story from Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche. He was on the beach at sunrise with one of the young men in the program. The young man began dancing. Jean asked him to draw a picture of what he saw. With his foot, he drew a sun with rays. Then, Jean asked him to draw a picture of his joy. The young man looked up and down the beach and said, “There’s not enough room to draw my joy!”

Hope leads to joy. God is hope. God is joy.

Thanks, Bishop Joe. You did a great job!

 

2 thoughts on “God is Hope … God is Joy

  1. […] This is our last morning of retreat. It has been deeply refreshing and renewing, and Bishop Joe has been a wonderful director. Today’s talk is on Hope, a beautiful place both to end and begin. Sister Stefanie reflects on it, too. […]

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  2. […] my parents and sister, MacKenzie. Here’s a pic of us clowning at the Milwaukee County Zoo! MacKenzie will come back to the monastery with me for a few days next week, and we are both looking forward […]

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