Hope is a visor

Some random thoughts about hope:

Hope is a long patience! (Conrad deMeester)

Christ is held by the hand of hope.  We hold him and are held.  But it is a greater good that we are held by Christ than that we hold him.  For we can hold him only so long as we are held by him.  (Paschasius Radbert)

Moaning is connected with hope . . .  (John of the Cross)

Hope allows the soul only a visor that it may look toward heavenly things, and no more.  This is the ordinary task of hope in the soul; it raises the eyes to look only at God.  (John of the Cross)

I have meditated on that last quote quite often. God often narrows our perspective so that we will look only to Him. In St. John’s time, a visor was defined as “on a close helmet, a piece having slits or holes for vision”.   “St. Paul calls hope the helmet of salvation.  A helmet is a piece of armor that protects the entire head and covers it so there is no opening except for a visor through which to see.” (John of the Cross, N.2.21.7) That is what hope should be for us–that slit in our life that narrows our vision to look toward God.   If we could only remember when life seems to be closing in, that it could very well be the hand of God:

I lift my eyes to you,
    to you who have your home in heaven,
eyes like the eyes of slaves
    fixed on their master’s hand;
like the eyes of a slave girl
    fixed on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are fixed on the Lord our God,
    for him to take pity on us.  (Ps 123.1-2)

My eyes are always on the Lord . . . . (Ps 25.15a)