Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10--Saved by Hope

Two quotes today on hope:

You must be men and women of ceaseless hope, because only tomorrow can today’s human and Christian promise be realized; and every tomorrow will have its own tomorrow, world without end. Every human act, every Christian act, is an act of hope. But that means you must be men and women of the present, you must live this moment—really live it, not just endure it—because this very moment, for all its imperfection and frustration, because of its imperfection and frustration, is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities, is pregnant with the future, is pregnant with love, is pregnant with Christ. –Walter J. Burghardt from Sir, We Would Like to See Jesus, 1982

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; there we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished along; therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness. –Reinhold Niebuhr from The Irony of American History, 1952

1 comment:

Clark R. West said...

Michael, thanks for reminding me of this wonderful passage from Neibuhr. It was one of my favorites when I came across it in graduate school, and along with the serenity prayer continues to be one of my guiding lights.
And the Burghardt passage is a real gem. One I will hold to in times of trial and frustration.
Yours in hope,