ARTICLES  Spiritual Reflections  SUMMARY

Cardinal Basil Hume OSB


The Mystery of Love







Hope comes from faith and leads to love. It is, in part, a state of expectancy, the looking forward to the fulfilment of God's promises to us. In part it must be in God's goodness and love. These will sustain us when the going gets rough, or the way is difficult.

It is hope which spurs us on to risk all for the love of God. It is hope which gives rise to great enterprises undertaken for the honour and glory of God.

There is an urgent task to be done in our time. It is to give hope to a world where disillusionment is widespread. To show our contemporaries that in the Word of God, and in His Sacraments, they can be touched by the divine and be cheered.

We are not living in a world devoid of hope and divorced from God. We may be buffeted by the prevailing winds of unbelief. We may suffer from society's generalised distrust of organised religion and Church structures. But at the same time there is still to be found in unexpected places a persistent thirst for God and for the life of the Spirit, a certain longing for prayer and meditation, and a curiosity about all forms of religious experience. There remains the inner restlessness of the human spirit and its ceaseless search for meaning and fulfilment. Individuals are thus kept open to the possibility of God and receptive to the Spirit.

If we do not believe there is a heaven beyond and outside this present life, for which we are ultimately destined, then life is difficult indeed and our mood one of pessimism. Why? Man has deep aspirations and limitless desires which almost instinctively we sense must be fulfilled or else life is absurd and certain failure. No, it is not so. There is a gentle breeze, if we can but catch it, which blows all the time to help us on our journey through life to our final destination. That breeze is the Holy Spirit.

Life is often like going through a dark tunnel, knowing that at the end there is light. But you have to keep going. From time to time there are chinks of light but you have to pass beyond them.

It is the memory of those chinks that keeps you going along the tunnel of life, knowing that at the end you will be coming out into this marvellous light. All the time, someone is walking with you, helping you, sometimes carrying you.

Hope is knowing that I have
been forgiven, my guilt removed.

Hope is knowing that there is a
future, a life after death.

Hope is knowing that there is love,
that there is a God
and I am loved by Him.
Whatever happens He does care.

Hope is knowing that He has plans,
even if I do not understand them.