We have made it into the month of February! That’s right, the second month of the year has begun and we are moving forward into the New Year at whatever pace each one of us chooses to push through the cold. Though beautiful winter scenes can accompany this lovely month, it is often a bleak time in winter when we all really start longing for the warmth of spring to begin peeking through. Knowing that moment of warmth will brush our cheeks in the not so distant future gives us hope, as we trudge through the second half of winter.

Hope. It is a beacon guiding us forward. A beautiful ray of light to hold on to in the darkness or cold. I have heard that it springs eternal and that it is always there if we choose to see it. With this rumination on hope beginning, I came across “A Prayer of Hope for the World” by an unknown author in A Maryknoll Book of Prayer.

While we still sit upon this cold onset of the year, let us read through this prayer, reflect, and bring forth a sense of hope for the world, as we begin to shed our cold weather cocoons and melt into motion the hopes that keep us going.

A Prayer of Hope for the World

Lord God, we come to you in our need;
create in us an awareness of the massive
and seemingly irreversible proportions of this crisis we face today
and a sense of urgency to activate the forces of goodness.
Where there is blatant nationalism,
let there be a global, universal concern;
Where there is war and armed conflict,
let there be negotiation;
Where there is stockpiling,
let there be disarmament;
Where people struggle toward liberation,
let there be non-interference;
Where there is consumerism,
let there be a care to preserve the earth’s resources;
Where there is abundance,
let there be a choice for a simple lifestyle and sharing;
Where there is reliance on external activism,
let there be a balance of prayerful dependence on you, O Lord;
Where there is selfish individualism,
let there be an openness to community;
Where there is the sin of injustice,
let there be guilt, confession, and atonement;
Where there is paralysis and numbness before the enormity of the problems,
let there be confidence in our collective effort.

Lord, let us not so much be concerned to be cared for as to care,
not so much to be materially secure as to know that we are loved by you.
Let us not look to be served,
but to place ourselves at the service of others whatever cost to self-interest,
for it is in loving vulnerability that we, like Jesus,
experience the fullness of what it means to be human.
And it is in serving that we discover the healing springs of life
that will bring about a new birth to our earth and hope to the world. Amen.