Hope is something outgoing President Barack Obama championed on his way to the White House and throughout his eight years in office. His successor, President-elect Donald Trump has talked about making the nation great again.
This year’s presidential election has caused historic polarization. Fear, angst, and a genuine, sustained spiritual despair have gripped many citizens and those hungering to be one. I’ve seen it firsthand.
At a performance of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in November folks in front, in back and by my side couldn’t stop talking about their anxiety over the election outcome before curtain and during intermissions. At my office several individuals expressed being physically sick over the result. My best friend called the day after the election in tears.
Even First Lady Michelle Obama seems concerned about the nation’s future. In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, she reflected, “we are feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept, and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. He and I and so many believe that. What else do you have if you don’t have hope?”
Every generation needs a leader. It needs to be inspired. It needs hope. Ultimately, however, hope is not what someone else gives to you and or a nation, it’s the inner strength the individual draws on. It’s his or her own spiritual resources to nurture others and who in turn is fed by the energy of possibilities from their neighbors.
Hope includes a sense of community that supports one another as part of the Creation the Creator intended. Hope is about you and those perceived as “the other.”
Most important it’s about the gift from the Divine empowering the individual with spiritual transcendence given to help everyone detach from the political and emotional drama of life. Transcendence assists in the path of greater holy, cosmological unity. Hope is about rising beyond the mundane and temporal to celestial experiences where time is meaningless and the social conflict every generation must experience is a stage of confusion and hopefully human growth benefiting the next generation.Of course everyone needs to be inspired. Sojourner Truth, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, John and Robert Kennedy, Barack Obama, Dorothy Day, Margaret Chase Smith, John V. Lindsay, John Glenn are among those who inspired. There are many others who can be named. Regardless of one’s politics, no one’s hope should be dependent on another individual.
You are hope – for yourself, your family, and neighbors who are afraid during uncertain times. Leo Tolstoy often reminded his international readership that they were the light in the world because through them they did God’s work. “What is God’s work?” Tolstoy asked. God’s work is you.
Yes, each individual can empower others with hope because every person is called by the Creator to be a co-Creator building a better world inspired by Holy Sophia the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps these uncertain social and political times are an invitation to “strengthen myself in the Spirit of the Lord” (Micah 2:8). We have in Divine Sophia the Holy Spirit a comforter, counselor, and advocate. God’s kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in Holy Sophia (Romans 14:17).
Holy Wisdom can be a discerning friend (Proverbs 7:5). It’s in discernment we find hope for ourselves and the world. May all of us “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13) now and always.
Hope, in the short and long term, is sustained and nurtured in one another. Each individual should consider drawing on Holy Sophia the Holy Spirit for his or her source of hope, not temporal men and women who come and go.
If you have been nourished by Divine Wisdom, share your hope with others. If you have not yet been nourished by Her, you’re awakening is before you, seek an experience with the Giver of Life’s Divine Feminine Breath.
Be spiritually energized by Holy Sophia the Holy Spirit and by doing so you can play your role in helping to change the world. No positive contribution is too small because, as Tolstoy wrote, it’s all God’s work.
Paul P. Jesep is a priest and a New York attorney. He is also author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis.”