How Does Hope Shape Us?

hope - letters sitting on windowsill

A driving dynamic of Advent is hope. If we had nothing to hope for, there would be no point to this season. The original hope was for a child to be born who would bring justice and peace to the world and who would heal the rift between humanity and God. But that larger hope is filled with smaller ones—daily hopes that can shape us as people.

Some hopes will shape our relationships. The Christ Child grew to be a man who embodied forgiveness and generosity. A life of hope sees the good in others, is patient with their shortcomings, and tenaciously envisions them at their best.

Some hopes will shape our life work. The promised Messiah proclaimed God’s realm of justice and mercy. No matter what jobs we do or work positions we hold, as hopeful people we maintain fairness and integrity as short-term and long-term goals. We make our work matter for the common good.

Some hopes will shape our character. Jesus exemplified hope that cultivates true interior freedom. A hopeful person cannot continue in anxiety, grasping, need for control, and habitual anger.

How is hope visible in your life? Where has it faded?

Image by Yandle under CC BY 2.0.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 100 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

4 Comments on How Does Hope Shape Us?

  1. The message of HOPE I am finding comforting. I am distracted by so many inconsequential matters and your reflections help ground me. Thank you.

  2. Thank you, Vinita, for stressing the relationship between Hope and Advent. Every year I hope that that Baby will instill hope in me, as He did in His mother an foster-father. And He does. My Christmas is filled with faith, hope, and love because I waited for Him to come. Come, Jesus, come.

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