Realizing that the demands of his work in Marseille had led him to spiritual luke-warmness, he did not despair. Ever since Eugene had been ravished by the experience of God’s love for him, it was the virtue of hope that kept him going in difficult times. Knowing that he was loved he knew that he would never be abandoned.

 Sweet hope, you have always brought me happiness,
and been precious to me for bringing me to see in God a delightful perfection
which made me love him with a pleasing trust

Retreat notes, May 1824, EO XV n. 156


Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.”        Romans 5:5

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One Response to A HYMN TO HOPE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I was struck by the word ravish. “Eugene had been ravished by the experience of God’s love for him…” I love that word – it is older and not used so often and actually one of the dictionaries I used to check out the definition gave two meanings, the first to fill with joy and the second was a violent sexual assault against a person (this being the most common and mentioned meaning given of the word). To be ravished, to be loved so greatly that everything, absolutely everything is changed. Eugene’s being ravished by such overwhelmingly exquisite tenderness caused him to view and experience God, himself and others in a different light. Eugene’s world was turned inside-out, never to be the same again. So altering, so real. The by-product of such love – hope and trust. What else could there be? This was/is the most real and true part of Eugene’s life, of our lives. The force of God’s love, of allowing that love to be and flourish.

    I am thinking of what Richard Rohr wrote today about God and God’s love affair with our souls, with each of us. That deepest part of us, of who we are, that is God. The most real part of us and it is that which we hang on to and trust in. Perhaps when we are feeling lukewarm it is simply like the fire beneath the ashes that appears to have died out, but it is there – red hot, fully alive, just waiting to be released. That is what we trust in, what we hope for. Our God is an awesome God.

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