One of the Apps on my phone is a Pope Francis daily encouragement. You might guess that I’m a Francis fan, but before you get too excited, I became a papal fan and facebook friend with Benedict and now this duo of daily encouragements are enough to refocus me in the midst of difficult days..
Today’s App message from Francis was first tweeted by him a few months ago and today I reacted much the same ways as when I first read it:
“Christians are always full of hope; they should never get discouraged.”
My problem is that I am a Christian, but I’m not always full of hope, and at times I do get discouraged. I know that I’m not alone in this. All of us who strive to live in relationship with Jesus struggle in the secular and faithless environment that is too often found in our workplace, school or family and even parish.
It is so easy to give in to this prevailing culture and settle for superficial uplifts that fleet in and out of consciousness. But I know that the hope they offer is never lasting. My experience teaches me that their promises provide no more than a mirage of temporary relief in the midst of the days burdens.
However, when I take even a minute or two to turn to Jesus in prayer, I find myself once again in right relationship with God and with all people and all things. Once again I see life with proper perspective, and I know that I am loved, and I am not alone.
In this encounter (to use the word the Pope Francis stressed yesterday in his homily for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple), I am made a Christian anew, and I am given hope. In this encounter with Jesus my discouragement is healed and transformed by His love.