Be full of hope today, be as full of hope as you possibly can be. Times are tough, they are very hard everywhere for so many of us. Even in the times of greatest joy, things can be challenging and hope is the fuel that propels us onward.
Motivational sayings often steer us towards optimism – conflating or confusing it with hope. Hope is not the same as optimism, just as joy is not the same as happiness. Hope is the warmth of a flame that is in all of our hearts, sometimes a roaring fire, other times an ember that we fear may go cold.
Optimism is not a bad thing – it is necessary, but it should not be confused with, or worse yet, replace hope. Optimism is something in our head, something that we can think and conjure with a mindset. Hope lives within each one of us and radiates something essential to ourselves and to our world. Optimism can help us with develop endurance, but it is hope that strengthens our soul for the trying times when we must wait.
Hope is strengthened in silence and stillness, nurtured in its dynamism and grace through quiet, meditation, creativity, and prayer. This is how we approach the dark days of December, with this inner posture illuminating the world around each one of us, illuminating the world within us, as we await in hope the dawning light of Christ.