Stories of Hope – December 5

12 5

Face to face with our limits,

Blinking before the frightful

Stare of our frailty,

Promise rises

Like a posse of clever maids

Who do not fear the dark

Because their readiness

Lights the search.

Their oil

Becomes the measure of their love,

Their ability to wait –

An indication of their

Capacity to trust and take a chance.

Without the caution or predictability

Of knowing day or hour,

They fall back on that only

Of which they can be sure:

Love precedes them…

-T.J. O’Gorman

To me, this sounds like freedom:

– In the face of an unknown future, to know that no matter what happens, you are ready.

-To feel confident in your resources. To trust that the past has prepared you well for the future.

-To trust your outer resources to get you through a lot, and your inner resources to get you through the rest.

-To know that whatever comes, God is already present and bringing about every good thing.

-To be able to rest, in patient waiting, for all that is to come.

-To trust that love precedes you.

There is freedom in such confidence. This freedom loosens the bonds of anxiety, addiction, mindless accumulation of wealth, and frantic work induced by scarcity. This freedom is ours, in Christ. May we claim it. May we live it. May God show us the way.

  1. What holds you back from this holy freedom? To what are you held captive?
  2. Do you feel God inviting you toward this confident and loving way of life? What might be a first step?

Let us pray. Trustworthy God, when we are “blinking before the frightful stare of our frailty,” may promise rise. Help us to recognize and trust in the resources you graciously provide. Show us how to use what we have been given and how to share our gifts with others. Precede us with your love, and show us your way. Amen.


All italicized quotes, poems, and prayers come from An Advent Sourcebook (Liturgy Training Publications/Chicago, IL, 1986).

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