I read an article this week called “Ignatian Optimism,” by Sandy Millar. She writes about “Ignatian optimism,” and I study and practice Ignatian traditions, but I think we could also call it “Christian optimism.” In our current time of a pandemic, with growing joblessness, riots, deaths, screaming matches, and name-calling, it is easy to be pessimistic. We wonder how things can ever get better. But it’s different for us Jesus-followers. We know “the ever-present and ever-active love of God in this world.”
We are called to participate in this movement toward the world as God dreams it to become, to make the realm of God as real here on earth as it is in the farthest reaches of heaven.
Thus, we can see the world plainly and truthfully and acknowledge what is wrong—and still rally with faith, hope, and love. This optimism does not rely on temporary outcomes but on God’s—and our—eternal, bright desire.
I do sometimes get pessimistic. I have days where I feel on the verge of crying all day long. I get discouraged and lose heart. But even when I feel sunk and stuck in the quicksand of hopelessness, underneath there’s hope, a certain hope, a deep knowledge that God is holding me up. As I send this message out, I pray you each have that hope within your hearts.
We are not supposed to ignore the bad things in life. We are not supposed to think, “Oh well, when we get to heaven everything will be okay,” and not care about what’s going on around us. In the Bible, on what we now celebrate as Palm Sunday, while people cheered for him, Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept, knowing the sadness to come (Luke 19:41-44). When his friend Lazarus’ sisters cried about the death of their brother, Jesus wept with them (John 11:33-35). He didn’t gloss over the terrible things that happened, he entered into the mourning they caused.
We, too, are saddened by injustice and cruelty, and we, too, enter into the mourning. But even while crying we try to remember Jesus’ love, we try to imagine and feel him beside us, helping us to bear it.
I read a poem by Malcolm Guite called “Christian Plummet” that ends:
One who takes Jonah as his only sign
Sinks lower still to hold you in his love,
And though you cannot see, or speak, or breathe,
The everlasting arms are underneath.
Even deep underwater like Jonah in the whale, when we “cannot see, or speak, or breathe,” God’s arms are underneath us.
May we all be Christian optimists. In every moment of every day, may you know the deep, deep love of Jesus.
What can I pray about for you?
love and blessings,
c: 408 318 2037
c: 408 318 2037
What is this?? A while back, I had an idea. I was thinking of some friends I wanted to pray for, but I didn't have a specific thing to pray about on their behalf. I decided to pray that they would feel God's love. I decided to send them an email when I prayed, so they'd know and be encouraged. Then I thought about my many other family and friends who I would like to encourage with prayer, and decided to start this email.
Two things I try to do:
-- Encourage you with a reminder of God's love. My goal is to avoid anything where the response is "I should..." Just a short reflection of God's love.
-- Pray for you. I'll pray with each email, and please reply to me with anything you'd specifically like me to pray for you. I'll keep it confidential, don't worry..
. If you would like to send me specific prayer requests. I will gladly pray with you. Email me at mavis at moonfamily.cc. I'll keep all communication confidential.