By Father John Donovan/ SUN contributing writer
It is cold, dank and we are buried in snow. I am more envious than ever of those who are able to get away to someplace warm and sunny this winter. February has never been my favorite month to begin with and this winter when all the reasons for that are much more apparent, it is even longer! Yet, I have hope, that Spring, as brief as it may be for us in our seven counties, will be upon us soon.
Hope springs eternal! I am reminded of the sometimes-crass comedian George Carlin’s character and routine the “Hippy Dippy Weather Man.” He would state something of the nature of: “our forecast for tonight is dark, with occasional light towards morning.” That is hope!
Hope is not wishful thinking; it is belief in what will be next. It relies on faith, tempered with experience and understanding. Thus, to hope for Spring is not a longing it is an expectation.
As Winter subsides to Spring, death and darkness to new life and light, so does the faith we profess. Lent begins in two weeks, but we know that it means nothing without Easter. Without the death on the cross, the resurrection is moot. Why then do we despair, or worse still lose hope?
The weather of our diocese definitely does not help. Our economy has seen better times. The global news is filled with tension. However as these elements of our lives are externals they need not define us. Families suffering losses may have great impact, but the loss is not the entire experience of the family.
Our reason for hope as believers is that simply “there will be occasional light towards morning.” Of course the light is what we celebrated at Christmas, as we will at Easter. Yet when driving in slush, aching from shoveling, layering clothing to the point of being unable to move, we may fail to recognize it.
We have been forced to stay home some evenings and not schedule every moment. This has allowed me a dent in correspondences, reading, phone calls and even a little study. I have had to slow down and in doing so reflect, pray and have peace in my heart. Yeah, I am griping about the weather, and long for sunshine for it is tiring, but I am also recognizing the blessing of maintaining relationships with friends, family and God. There are epiphany moments to be had in seeing and hearing the beauty for which surrounds us, be it in the snow or someone we know. We are called to see God, and even in the midst of wintertime angst, for there is where God is to be found.
What’s next? The sun is what we hope for, yet in recognizing the blessing of the gift of time when forced to slow down, there is more to see. When we recognize the ongoing revelation amongst us, we have the obligation to make it visible to others as well. Our Christian vocation is to share our faith, love and hope.