Thomas Merton has a hope quote that I love. I could remember part of it, but not the whole quote. It was driving me crazy. I knew it was in No Man Is an Island, but I could not remember where.
I searched the Hope chapter again and again, without any luck. I gave up and knew it would find me when I needed it. Then, this morning on my walk, while listening to the chapter on Mercy, I heard the quote. I giggled. Mercy is such a gift of hope, isn’t it?
Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, Mercy 1
We learn to know Him, now, not in the “presence” that is found in abstract consideration-a presence in which we dress Him in our own finery-but in the emptiness of a hope that may come close to despair. For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair when, instead of falling over the edge, we find ourselves walking on the air. Hope is always just about to turn into despair, but never does so, for at the moment of supreme crisis God’s power is suddenly made perfect in our infirmity. So we learn to expect His mercy most calmy when all is most dangerous, to seek Him quietly in the face of peril, certain that He cannot fail us though we may be upbraided by the just and reject by thoughts to claim to hold the evidence of His love.
I keep reading this sentence again and again-
For perfect hope is achieved on the brink of despair when, instead of falling over the edge, we find ourselves walking on the air.
So, to all of us that find ourselves on the brink of despair, may we keep moving forward on our path, knowing we will find ourselves walking on air.