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March 6, 1998     The Message
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March 6, 1998

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The Mgssage --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 1 1 ness feeds on isolation ID K. 0'ROURKE, O.P. Catho CNews Sew ce than two years ago, a as, I received a couple now in lost a child in an a few years earlier, ys reminded to get over this around here at of ornaments husband said to me. t to go through in such a hopeless t know how to Well, so I invited myself talk. sense of loss the death of talented child on the Was profound. ornaments on Stood alone and eir family room for how good the it had been good. how real the be, for better or was to see that )efUl. recognizing them and that other. Their prove vital 9elessness be overstated. And liv- from our friends hopelessness. major employer in many peo- and faithfully of work. Was common among rst part of this hope- 4"# Dominican Father David K. O'Rourke recalls the lime when hopelessness was conquered. "What helped many to come out of this trap was the awareness that they real- ly were not alone," he writes. "Friends and parish groups came together, offering support, talking about the situa- tion, standing by one another." -- CNS phot by Bill Wittman lessness, suffered in the privacy of their homes, was the feeling that they were alone. Husbands did not want'to talk about their embarrassment and pain with their wives and children. What helped many come out this trap was the awareness that they really were not alone. Friends and parish groups came together, offering support, talking about the situation, standing by one another and making clear that they were all in this together. When this happened a theological teaching and a human reality joined forces. Our belief that hope connects us to other believers stood side by side with el Marketplace llowing are selected responses from students of Paula Stone, cellles. f faith, that God will help you and be With you in some way. Adam Rensing, Grade 7 Soup. Have you ever read the Chicken Soup for the Soul 's from people with a message of hope and inspiration read. Hope in my definition is a possibility of the good things to -- Katie Klein, Grade 8 ..... to learn and achieve something that is very important to you. :-  David Bouchie, Grade 6 !fliCker of light that keeps us going, no matter how terrible things   Katie Dittelberger, Grade 7 receive as a result of our faith. }tope givt us a reason to look for- -Jason Hurst, Grade 7 if Someone is really sick you hope that they get better. only different. --Carrie Smith, Grade 8 :things are always going to turn out for the Ixt, even if it You want it to. Hope is very essential. It would be very hard my very best without hope. -- Libby Kerlin, Grade 11 the human knowledge that, at times of home for many of us these days. trouble, we need to take care of one Vdat seems clear is that the God-idven another.. ' There are times when things really grounding when we canto look bleak. Relationships that are at the make sure that neither we ourselves nor heart of our lives can come to an end. others are left alone at times of trouble. Our health can become fragile, our jobs insecure and our finances shaky. In some Father O'Rourke a Dominican, is a free- form or other those realities hit close to lance writer in Oakland, Calif. Le Continued from page 10 stance, were still considered acceptable. They could find hope once again. Besides the fear that they are alone, people without hope often lose a sense of the future. They lose a sense of direc- tion. It is as if there is no life or activity beyond a certain point. The best that can be said about the future is that it is hazy. Consequently, the gift of hope is also a gift of a new horizon. I watched closely the visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba during January. Although the pope's own health was somewhat fragile, his ,isit became a sign of hope to a people deprived for nearly 40 years of visible, public signs of their faith. His visit was about possibilities and a new future for Cubans. It will be interesting to see how their hope, resurrected by the papal visit, will grow and flourish now. Like a seed, a little hope can grow into a mighty' force. Parishes and their people are given the same role as the pope. They are to be beacons of hope to the world and to their own members. Food for thought ............ What is hope for? It is interesting that the Catechism of the Catholic Church carefully points out that the virtue of hope preserves people "from selfishness" (No. 1818). To the extent that it is a driving force in life, this virtue no doubt is "for" me benefits me  in certain ways. It keeps me, as the catechism says, from dis- couragement; it will sustain me if I feel abandoned. I'm sure that hope enlightens me about my own potential, my future. But as a virtue, hope won't drive me inside myself or isolate me. My hope can genuinely be "for" others. The catechism locates hope squarely on the road that leads to ha/pin,ess. And, the catechism insists, this is the tappiness *'that flows from charity' -- that flows from love for others. It is said that hope is both a source for the ChrLstian life and a product of it. So the hope within me isn't static. It grows as I pursue Chtian living.. Plenty of people will testiS" that they grew in unexted gx,-d ways when they began to live as though their finest virtues  like hope  lly were "for" others. David Gibson Editor, Faith Alive! i( !