HOPE: Here is your part

God's door is always open to us
by Rhonda S. Jones | Source: Catholic.net

Decades ago when I was planning my career as a psychologist I found amusing the image from the Peanuts Cartoon of Lucy at her makeshift Psychiatric Office with the shingle indicating that the doctor “is in.” Imagine if God had an office. What would his shingle say about His hours of operation? It seems to me it would always say that God’s door was open. If He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7), He would certainly always know our needs at every moment. And we wouldn’t need to make an appointment or stand in line, because He could help any number of us, at the same moment.

   Here's the requirement: WE are to seek HIM and let Him guide us. We are to make that positive move.

   There is a visual image of this. If you haven’t seen it, just close your eyes and visualize it right now. It is of our beautiful Lord Jesus standing at the front door of a home --perhaps your home (representing your heart). He is knocking on the door to let you know He is there – always there – but He has arranged things such that (through free will) you are not forced to go to Him. Opening the door is left up to you.

   This represents HOPE, one of the three theological virtues (along with Faith and Love, about which I have written recently). Like the other two, Hope is first infused in us by God. With the theological virtue of HOPE, two sides are needed – us and God. (Of course, Satan didn’t see things that way, as he believed himself to be self-sufficient and not in need of divine Hope.)

   How are two sides needed? In God's plan of Salvation (e.g. Luminous mystery #3 of the Rosary), Christ IS our Hope. Yet this hope is fulfilled when we choose to turn to Him, our “three-in-one” God.  Here is a down-to-earth, simplistic analogy:

   When I was about eight, I took a fall from my bicycle and scraped my knee, leaving dirt and little pebbles stuck to it. I knew that my mother was home and that she could take care of me. But I had to do my part—namely go to her and show her my knee. I wasn’t a fool. Of course I went to her promptly to have her take care of it. But it took: first my mother being my hope, and second my making the choice to accept her help. Only then would the hope be fulfilled. Her first-aid “clinic” was always open to me. How much more awesome is God, who fully understands how to best meet our needs and is ever there for us.

   We must continue to grow our HOPE in Him and never forget that it needs nurturance and attention, just like Love and Faith. My last article offered practical suggestions of how to accomplish this with these three great virtues.

   Remember the relevant words of Jesus and Peter in John 6:67-69? Would you read them today (or now)? And let’s each put notes somewhere (e.g. on our bathroom mirror) to remind us to declare to Jesus each morning and night this week, “ JESUS, YOU ARE MY HOPE!”

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