Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Locating Hope

The priest most responsible for the Catholic landscape of Southern California, literally, is posthumously accused of child molestation. A twelve-year-old boy is arrested for allegedly stabbing his eight-year-old sister to death. Two local examples of the horrors we inflict on one another. Two more sets of victims and victimizers to join our parade of violence. It is easy to lose hope in our family, assuming we had any to begin with. And yet hope is there for the taking, if only we know where to look.

And that is our problem, for we look in all the wrong places, namely within ourselves. We seem to think that, with the right application of human initiative, we can produce hope. Charity, justice, even military force will lead us to the promised land, if only we can figure out the right combination of buttons to push. If we just have faith, the good guys will triumph over the bad guys. But what happens when they all look in the mirror and cannot tell who is who? Perhaps it is time we looked elsewhere.

"I open my eyes and I see you … I close my eyes and I hear you … You radiate in birth and death, in moans of pleasure and cries of agony, in our happiness and our pain, in the hidden moments of beings we are too proud and stubborn to truly see. You radiate from every particle of creation; for every one of them is an act of love."

Hope is embedded in every fiber of our being. But we did not put it there.