What Is Hope?

Hope is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is not merely wishful thinking; it is much more than that. Hope is knowing and strongly believing that though one is in a desperate situation, things will improve. If anything gets accomplished, it is through hope. When we support freedom and justice, we send out ripples of hope. Hope is very hard to kill, and even when it dies, like Christ, it has a way of coming back to life. If we didn't have hope that we would succeed, why bother trying? The faith and optimism of hope has helped individuals gather enough courage to get through the day throughout history. Paul wrote in several places about what hope leads to or makes: patience, courage, and joy. Hope makes us stable and we are saved in hope. It is one of the three things which last: faith, hope, and love. Hope remains strong on the list of human needs. It is like a single candle in a dark hallway, it gives off just enough light to continue on and find the way out of the darkness. This light of hope burns so strongly in the hearts of some that it is all they need to keep on living. Hope is not resignation; it is motivation and the foundation to build one's life upon. As Catholics we live in the faith, hope and expectation that one day we will share with Christ in perpetual life. We are an Easter people and every day we celebrate the Resurrection and look forward in hope to the time when we too will be with Christ in his eternal banquet.

What is Resilience

Resilience is the power or ability to recover readily from illness, depression or adversity. It is the ability to adapt to new and sometimes unwanted situations. Why is resilience important? As a value resilience is of great significance as the human capacity to face and overcome adversity has been an essential component in the development of mankind. Indeed, it is fair to say that humans are often strengthened and empowered by adverse situations and experiences. Sometimes resilience is referred to as “bouncing back”. It is not necessarily about being tough but rather demonstrates the ability to accept your feelings, to give yourself time and to look after yourself in a difficult situation or period. In times of adversity we turn to God, a constant companion in our life journey. Asking God's help for intercession is something we all do in times of trouble. Sometime, the desired outcome does not eventuate, but through prayer it seems we are granted an acceptance and peace about our situation. Resilience and acceptance are closely linked. When we acknowledge and face our difficulties head on we can then call upon a reservoir of inner strength – our resilience and endurance. Resilience is also about clarifying our visions and our values, and deciding what action is necessary to make our hopes and dreams a reality. Resilient people have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve, they know what is important to them and they invest their time and energy accordingly. At some stage or another in our lives we are all tested. There isn't a human alive who has not faced defeat. The question we must ask ourselves is not how are we to avoid pain? but rather, when sorrow comes how can we muster the resources to recover from pain? No one would wish misfortune on themselves. But suffering is a great teacher. It teaches us empathy, compassion and wisdom. Most of all it forces us to learn that we are much stronger than we ever suspected.