During the fourth week of this Lenten season, we reflect on a disciplined love. “We must live by the love of what we will never see…”
… and we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope, and hope does not disappoint us … Romans 5:3,4
by Rubem Alves
What is hope?
It is a presentiment that imagination is more real and reality less real than it looks.
It is a hunch
that the overwhelming brutality of facts
that oppress and repress is not the last word. It is a suspicion
that reality is more complex
than realism wants us to believe and that the frontiers of the possible
are not determined by the limits of the actual and that in a miraculous and unexpected way life is preparing the creative events
which will open the way to freedom and resurrection…. The two, suffering and hope, live from each other. Suffering without hope
produces resentment and despair, hope without suffering
creates illusions, naivete, and drunkenness…. Let us plant dates
even though those who plant them will never eat them. We must live by the love of what we will never see. This is the secret discipline.
It is a refusal to let the creative act
be dissolved in immediate sense experience
and a stubborn commitment to the future of our grandchildren. Such disciplined love
is what has given prophets, revolutionaries and saints the courage to die for the future they envisaged.
They make their own bodies the seed of their highest hope.
Source: “Tomorrow’s Children” from Hijos de Maoana, by Rubem Alves. Salamanca, Spain: Ediciones Sigueme, 1976.
Missed our last Lenten devotional? Check out Woke… to “Seeing”.