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By Tessa Gallagher

Life without hope is no life at all. Hope is not merely expectation, or waiting patiently for something to unfold. By living in hope we wake up to potential, to possibility for what could be. Hope dilutes or cancels out fear. It can carry us through stark times and times of despair. Within us, lies a bedrock of hope. After some time in the desert of pain, and suffering in the wilderness, hope knocked at my door once again. I’m quite sure that we are given hope, so that we can be beacons of hope for others. People, sometimes virtual strangers, have been beacons for me, giving me strength to go on. Taking action when you’re weary and overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness is most challenging. Despair captures the mind; hope frees the body and feeds the soul. Ironically, hope seems to emerge like a butterfly from the chrysalis of suffering. It’s significant that above the entrance to Dante’s hell are the words: “Leave behind all hope, all you who enter here.” There comes a time, sometimes many times in life, when we have to choose between hope or despair, light or darkness. “ Give light” wrote Erasmus, “and the darkness will disappear of itself.”


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