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A Better Hope


I wish I could say I have only one friend who is suffering from pain of illness.

I have too many friends who are sick, mostly of cancer.
I wish I could say I have only one friend aching from the wound of a broken relationship.
I know too many families in need of healing.
I wish I could say I have only one friend who is out of a job.
I have too many unemployed friends who have all but given up HOPE.

None of us are free from the sadness that can come from life in this world. We know we will experience pain, suffering or sorrow in our lifetime. But we move on clinging to the hope that things will get better.

What happens when we lose hope altogether?
What drives people to lose hope?

As human beings we are in need of hope. To lose hope entirely is like accepting a slow death - a death in despair. As human beings we cannot live without hope, without something to live for, or something to look forward to. We pray to God to help us get over our current situation but sometimes it feels like we have a distant God (although we know that is not the case). Has this ever happened to you?

   Where is God?...
Go to him when your need is desperate, when all other help
is in vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face.
    "Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity
and so very absent a help in time of trouble?
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

  If you are currently overwhelmed by life's trials and tribulations of any kind
-- don't lose hope. God wants to comfort you. You have access to his grace and comfort. Know and believe that nothing will prevent Jesus from coming again today just as quickly as He did two thousand years ago. Today as you read this message, be reassured that nothing will prevent Jesus from coming into your heart and comforting you with His love.

Advent 2011 This Advent season should be a reminder for all of us how fortunate we are in spite of our current challenges. In our Christian tradition, we not only have hope, we have BETTER HOPE (Hebrews 7:19). We have "better hope" because our Christian hope is not dependent on us but on the sacrifice of the Son of God. We have a hope that is "an anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:19), one that has a firm assurance through the witness of the Holy Spirit, that Christ has promised a better world to those who are His. Our hope allows us to "confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help" (Hebrews 4:16).  

C.S. Lewis in his book, A Grief Observed, realized why he couldn't hear God in his time of need. He said,

"The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can't give it: you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear... Perhaps your own passion temporarily destroys the capacity.  
 After all, you must have capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can't give." 

We are thankful to God for friends and supporters of CWM. Our supporter's generosity to give regardless of their current situation exemplifies the "better hope" we in turn are trying to extend to the people we support. Our supporters open "the capacity to receive" God's grace for timely help because they extend beyond their challenges and think of others less fortunate than themselves.

In this season of hope that is Advent, thank you for being part of God's work in extending the better hope he wants for all of his children. Thank you for supporting our Mano Amiga children who would not otherwise have the means to go to school and have a chance at a better future.

I pray the better hope offered by God will always be the anchor of your soul. I pray that God's love that is poured out onto you give you peace. I pray you will always have faith in Him, the giver of hope that does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). 

Yes, that is my better hope for you.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rick Medina  
Patrick's Donation Letter

Speaking of Hope...

8-year old Patrick saved money until he felt
he had enough to give to CWM.

The future of our faith is bright
with children such as Patrick.

From Rick's Bookshelf...

I read a new book on my way to visit a seminary in N.Y. last week. I enjoyed the book tremendously. It's a good Christmas present.

The book: The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work by Randy Hain (Liguori Publications). Please check it out.
The Catholic Briefcase

Mano Amiga Annual Fund Campaign 
Thousands of poor children and their families transform their lives after graduating from Mano Amiga schools. Their education and spiritual formation is possible through your donations to Catholic World Mission. A contribution to the Annual Fund Drive will save thousands of lives in Latin America, transforming children suffering from malnutrition and illiteracy into healthy and productive adults.