Hope and the Nearness of God: The 2022 Lent Book
In these days of pandemic, war and political turbulence, hope can seem to be in short supply. But hope is one of the theological virtues and it is far more profound than mere optimism. Today, pessimism and despair seem all too prevalent.
What can we do about the poor and starving, about those who seem to be locked in interminable conflict and families weighed down by the consequences of breakdown? Sister Teresa White’s book is an antidote to all this and it is written with beautiful simplicity and directness. There is no hiding behind complicated or technical language. In one of the most forceful chapters in the book, the author shows how hope breeds courage and courage breeds hope.
But hope is not a matter of wishful thinking. Drawing on St Augustine, the author shows moreover that hope has two essential components. Not just courage but anger as well.
The expression of our anger can lead to greater clarity with our discernment and spiritual perception. Hope too can lead us to understand God’s solidarity with us in times of sorrow and struggle. Teresa White in this Lent Book draws on inspiration from writers as diverse as Julian of Norwich and Karl Rahner, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Henri Nouwen, but throughout the book there is strong scriptural underpinning which the author uses to great effect.