Live hope during COVID-19

Reflection by the Provincial Council
Sister Mary Kay Brooks reads outside at Sancta Maria in Ripa, St. Louis.

In these unprecedented times, we are truly invited to live HOPE. Author Kate Davies wrote a book called, "Intrinsic Hope: Living Courageously in Troubled Time." In it, she identifies many of the issues in our society: climate disruptions, social inequality, political unrest, wars, etc. Interestingly, the book was published in 2018, long before COVID-19, but now many of these troubles have been magnified by this pandemic. Fear, despair and grief are amplified. More than ever, we need to live HOPE.

Ms. Davies names intrinsic hope as a powerful, liberating and positive approach to life, based on deep trust. If something is intrinsic, that means it is inherent. Just as love is an intrinsic part of the heart, so hope is an intrinsic part of our soul. We see this as we reflect on the life of Blessed Theresa. Hope was an intrinsic part of her nature and character that came from deep within. Blessed Theresa's powerful approach to life was based on a deep trust in God and she cultivated intrinsic hope throughout her life as she lived courageously.

We know that Blessed Theresa experienced suffering and discomfort, but she allowed these to transform her as she become more compassionate, humble, grateful and resilient. She did not live in a world without social problems and she painfully saw the reality around her. Yet, she led her sisters forward in times of poverty and responded audaciously to urgent needs, even with meager resources. She cultivated contemplation as she prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament. She matured in faith and the hope of the Resurrection as she faced loss and sorrow at the death of her parents, mentors and her own sisters. She grew in wisdom and fostered persistence when confronted by opposition as she began our congregation.

Let us remember Blessed Theresa’s intrinsic hope. Let us cultivate and share our own intrinsic hope with others during these unprecedented days, weeks and (most likely) months. Let us foster awareness and contemplation so that we can continue developing wisdom, calmness, mindfulness, persistence and faith.

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