“Despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope”*

By our co-chaplain, Andrew Norman

“Honestly I don’t now feel any hope. As a young person I took part in marches and demonstrations and was I full of idealism for a better future. But looking back it hardly seems to have made any difference at all.” So said one participant in a Quaker break-out group discussion I took part in earlier this week. Honestly I felt I could share that sense of disillusionment. But actually my catholic Anglican and Quaker perspective has filled my week with hope.

For in this Quaker webinar I picked up the news that our own County Council here in Devon had recently voted to support the CEE bill and encourage local MPs to do so (46 votes in favour, 3 abstentions, no votes against.)

Quakers in our part of the country are themselves mobilising:

Then from the Catholic Church this has been Laudato Si Week. At the opening session a global view was opened up with presentations from Fr Augusto Zampini at the Vatican, Ditebogo Lebea who is a young climate activist from Africa, and Gregorio Mirabal of Amazonian indigenous-religion. The session was recorded so should still be watchable:


Fr Augustino concluded with a reflection on the parable of the sower which Pope Francis had shared with the Vatican Dicastery he works within. “What is our role today? We are not the sower, or the seed, that is God. We are neither the plant nor the fruit. We have to ensure that we are fertile soil and not rocky soil, not unfertile, and then the fruits will come up. The good policies will come up if we have rooted them in a good economy. Without that we will have a few twigs here and there but we won’t produce this radical change – and the people who can really move for that radical change are those people who are embedded in their spirituality, really religious people who address the world as God’s creation, as brothers and sisters. That will produce the transformation that is required.”   

*George Eliot



Author: Ruth Jarman | Date: 22 May, 2021 | Category: Chaplain's Blog | Comments: 1

Comments on "“Despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope”*"

Beth Church:

July 21, 2021

Despair has its place in bringing me to my knees when I can see no path forward. Despair forces me to STOP. Despair brings me to that centre within myself, where I have to listen, and re-group my thinking. Hope arrives when signs are clear that there is protection and assistance from the forces of the Universe that gives us guidance and understanding. Sometimes our plights are so complicated we cannot relay them to another human being, and our paths can be treacherous. Each day is a new opportunity at developing strength, and holding onto HOPE, but even then our efforts can be thwarted by others. Sometimes people are so consumed in their own haves, and self serving worlds, that their intentions can be hurtful, and even harmful to our progress. Having a sense of detachment and holding onto the only continuum -our LOVING GOD is vital.

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