THE WELLSPRING OF HOPE
Where can we find Hope, and How do we then sustain it ? 'The whole of creation relates to God, as air to the sun' (St.Thomas Aquinas). Yes of course, our internal thoughts can be marshalled to achieve a positive outlook on our lives, but Aquinas is saying that that is a mechanical explanation, sufficient in the short term, but it does not really get to the deep centre where REAL hope and sustenance can be found. - 'God alone exists by nature, for existing is what he IS. Whereas creatures only share in existence, existing is not what they are. As St.Augustine says : If at any time the ruling power of God were to desert what he created, his creation would immediately lose its form, and all nature would collapse.' As always in life, we are yet again at a junction in the road. Do we take a mechanistic view of life and creation, that the world was formed solely by atoms and temperatures combining fortuitously and that now we live in an environment of total chance, or that there was a Creator who is looking after us , even when everything is seemingly dark. The context is one of love and from that, springs Hope. We hope that even on the blackest day, a good of some kind will arise, because evil, which is a falling away from the correct path, requires more than mere chance to be overcome. So hope in a higher force (God) is where logically we need to address our attention. In itself that is not easy, bearing in mind the distracting countervailing views whirling around. 'God is at work in us, in our willing and in our achieving. God moves our will, but he does not coerce it.'
It is so important therefore, to work towards understanding God's gifts and our consequent responsibilities. Then we begin to become more stable emotionally, more compassionate; we use our reason and our will more correctly, all linked to the daily use of the virtues of Justice; Courage; Temperance; Wisdom. Thank you. Tom Baxter