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Hope

“The soul that desires to please God needs first of all patience and hope, because one of the tricks of the devil is, in time of trouble, to make us despondent and divert us from hope and trust in God. God never allows those who trust in Him to be overwhelmed by temptations so as to reach utter exhaustion; for says the Apostle, God is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation, He will also dispose the issue of it, and enable you to bear it [I Cor. 10:13].” (St. Macarius the Great)


“Sometimes, without realizing it, we forget hope and instead seek control. It is a temptation for all of us. We convince ourselves that if I just work harder, stay busier, and organize my life more, that I can rebuke or control the wind and sea, the chaos and stress, in my own life. What we so often don’t realize is the more we try to quiet the storm of our stress and fear through over-control and managing every detail of our life, the worse we make the storm within us. The more we try to control everything and everyone in our life, the more we find ourselves taking on water.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“Hope, that least of the spiritual virtues, is the evidence of trust in the Lord within us. To surrender to defeatism, to give in to the feeling that you are as you are, nothing will change, is to refuse a challenge of the spirit. Here’s the difference between our spiritual ancestors and us—or at least those of us who will not make an effort to learn what they are made of. Is it not ironic that in our time of human advances in technology and science, when striking breakthroughs in medicine occur routinely, pushing the limits of knowledge, in sporting events, breaking records in all phases of athletics with almost each international trial, it is in spiritual development that we lag behind…” (Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky)


“Those of us who seek to follow after and draw close to God can expect to spend our lives engaged in a struggle, a wrestling match, with the evil that dwells within our hearts. We can expect to be lonely, to be tired, to be afraid, to suffer pain, and to be unable to understand the world around us and what is going on inside of us. At the same time, we have witnessed the fact that Jesus Christ overcame all of the evil that we have to offer and more besides. Because He has already won the battle which we all fight, the peace that we seek, the simply joy and contentment that we hope for in life, all lie with Him. If we are following Christ down the path which He walked, which includes His journey to the Cross, then we have no need to ever fear or worry, because we know that no matter how desperate or dark any hour may seem, we have seen how this story ends. We know the point toward which we are journeying, and it is eternal life with our Lord.” (Father Stephen De Young)


“Hope…means…a continual looking forward to the eternal world…It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next…It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither.” (C.S. Lewis)



“Let us not be surprised, however, if hope is not what the world feels when it looks back upon the year 2020 and into the New Year of 2021. By many people, the year 2020 will be remembered as one of calamity: the year of the covid-19 pandemic; of violence perpetrated upon the weak by the strong; of civil unrest and rioting; of political polarization and turmoil; of fires, storms, and floods….many of us grappled with personal tragedy throughout the year, with the loss of loved ones, chronic and acute illnesses, financial ruin, accidents, abuse, addiction, and every other temptation and challenge. In the New Year, these troubles may well continue, or new ones may come…We must have perseverance, but Christ promises us hope: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us” (Rom 5:5)… This is our calling in 2021, and every day of our lives: to enthrone Christ in our hearts, so that it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Gal 2:20). This is our hope…” (Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America) 


“The truly Good News for us, in the midst of the craziness of the coronavirus, is that by bearing this cross of fear, isolation and uncertainty with hope in God and with self-sacrificial love for our neighbors, by enduring this “fiery trial” with patient endurance, we open up our hearts to a foretaste of the heavenly joy of eternally being in the presence of our Lord (Matt. 25:21,23). As we continue to bear this cross, may we persevere in prayer, learn self-denial through fasting, and do good works of mercy to those in need around us. Prayer makes us united in God, even when physically separated.” (Fr. Jonathan Lincoln)


“Even behavioral scientists…who focus on the psy