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Thought for the Day - David Palmer

As we work our way through virus restrictions, Deacon David Palmer Catholic Chaplain, reflects on the value of waiting in hope.



It is difficult to cope with virus restrictions, but it can be a learning experience. I'm Deacon David and it's my privilege to share a thought with you today.

What do you want more? Something you have already got, or something you wish you had? It sounds like a silly question because we live in a society that is constantly encouraging us to strive for things we haven't got - whether its possessions - a new phone, a new car; or achievements - a better job, a bigger salary, a better degree.

Wanting to do better things, to have a better life is good, but I find it can be tiring and it can lead to me forgetting that what matters in life is the journey, not the destination. Life is to be lived, and part of living is waiting. In the Catholic Mass there is a bit where we say "We wait in joyful hope". This is a reminder to enjoy what we have now as well as what is to come.

Waiting is part of life. A mother waits for her child to be born; we look forward to holidays; we even look forward to "getting exams over with" or receiving the results. The waiting makes the achievement all the more memorable. Footballers struggle with not celebrating after scoring a goal, because their whole game, if not their life has been one long wait for the opportunity to score. It is the hope of scoring that makes the years of training and practice worthwhile. The longer the wait for the goal, the more joyful the celebration.

It is no accident that Hope is identified as one of the three gifts from God called graces. The other two are Charity and Faith. Hope is what keeps people going - even in the darkest times; in sickness, in prison, even in the face of death. A French poet described Hope as a little sister who leads her two elder sisters Faith and Charity on the road of life.

"It’s Hope, the little one, who carries them all.

Because Faith sees only what is. But Hope, she sees what will be.

Charity loves only what is. But Hope, she loves what will be."

Hope in a better future is what drives us to achieve great things, and hope thrives best in adversity. As we seek to cope with virus restrictions, and help others to do so, there is a need to remember that after we have weathered the dark days of Winter; Spring and Summer will come once more. They will be all the more welcome after waiting.

May the peace and grace of God be with you and those you love throughout the year ahead.