Jesuit Novitiate
Novitiate of the Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus

Bonum sperare in Domino

31 Jan 2021

Three little calls to hope

A few days ago I realised how many times in the last time I have been touched by thoughts that spoke of hope. In this article I would like to mention three, different from each other, but which have helped me. In this sense this short writing is not a thought of mine: much more a praise to the community, to the companions and to the creativity of the Spirit that speaks through them.
The first occasion was during a trip when we stopped in nature and shared during a prayer what was inside us. A companion had just read a book by a Jesuit describing the image of the French poet Charles Péguy. It is a poem that represents the journey of humanity as a great procession, led by three sisters, the virtues. Faith and charity are adult, strong, it would seem that they carry the little sister among us. As we get closer we see instead, that it is the smallest sister, hope, that is leading everyone! If the brother was impressed, I am not surprised: it is a beautiful image indeed.
A few days went by when one morning – it was the feast of St Thomas Aquinas – the celebrant father brought up in his homily a thought of this famous theologian who, comments on St Paul’s phrase: “these then are the three things that remain: faith, hope and charity; but the greatest of these is charity!”. St Thomas says: charity is the greatest, because when we are in Paradise, we will no longer need either faith or hope (we will have certainty…), but charity will remain. Paradoxically, this statement confirmed to me that here on earth we really do need hope.
On the same day (well, when the Lord wants to say something, he says it…) a father who was giving us a course on Sacred Scripture brought the parable of the sower as an example of a literary genre. A well-known passage, but the novelty was in the way he presented it. If we look only at the parable, without the explanation (added later by the Christian community in the first century), we can take in a sense of profound hope. In spite of the difficulties, the hard, rocky or thorny parts of the land, the seed bears fruit… and bears an incredible amount of fruit, given that usually it is a matter of yelding 5-6, at most 8 times more than the seeded crop. And here Jesus speaks of 30, 60, even 100 times more!
I am not writing all this as someone who knows how to do this thing of hoping in life. I am on a journey and feel the call to go deeper into this. One can try to cultivate hope, if not otherwise, perhaps by rocking the little tune of Taizé, mentioned in the title which, I believe, the dear reader also knows… If not, it is worth listening to.

2021-01-31 Gellert Török, second-year novice.

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