August 11, 2019: Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Sr Mary Kay Meagher ND

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”
In the readings of today as well as our events of the past weeks, there are the shared experiences of fear, confusion, distress, doubt, pain, anger. Where is there hope?
My personal question is what do I do with all of this? What came to me was a poem that I learned a long time ago.
I offer it in short form with the concluding verse. I also invite you to take the opportunity to take in its entirety.

I am, God says, the Lord of that virtue.
It is my little hope
who goes to sleep every evening,
in her child’s bed,
after having said a good prayer,
and who wakes every morning and gets up
and says her prayers with new attention.
I am, God says, Lord of the Three Virtues.

A Little Hope” by French author Charles Péguy
“I am, God says, Master of three virtues.
Faith is a faithful spouse.
Charity is a mother burning with devotion.
But hope is a very small girl.
I am, God says, Master of three virtues.
Charity is she who extends herself over the centuries.
But my little hope
is the one who each morning
says Good Day to us.
I am, God says, Master of three virtues.
Faith it is who keeps watch down the ages;
Charity it is who keeps watch down the ages.
But little hope it is
who goes to bed every evening,
and who gets up each morning,
having slept soundly through the night.
I am, God says, the Master of Three Virtues.
Faith is a soldier, a captain who defends a fortress.
A town belonging to the King,
On the marches of Gascony, on the marches of Lorraine.
Charity is a doctor, a Little Sister of the poor,
Who nurses the sick, who nurses the wounded,
The poor subjects of the King,
On the marches of Gascony, on the marches of Lorraine.
But it is my little hope
Who says good-day to the poor man and the orphan.
I am, God says, the Lord of the Virtues.
Faith is a church, a cathedral rooted in the soil of France
Charity is a hospital, an alms-house which gathers up wretchedness of the world.
But without hope it would be nothing but a cemetery.
I am, God says, the Lord of the Virtues.
It is Faith who watches through centuries of centuries.
It is Charity who watches through centuries of centuries.
But it is my little hope
who lies down every evening
and gets up every morning
and really has very good nights.
I am, God says, the Lord of that virtue.
It is my little hope
who goes to sleep every evening,
in her child’s bed,
after having said a good prayer,
and who wakes every morning and gets up
and says her prayers with new attention.
I am, God says, Lord of the Three Virtues.
Faith is a great tree, an oak rooted in the heart of France,
And under the wings of that tree,
Charity, my daughter Charity shelters all the distress of the world.
And my little hope is only that little promise of a bud which shows itself at the very beginning of April.”