Wednesday, April 15, 2020

"Hoping for the wrong thing"

.... Citing T.S. Eliot (in “East Coker,” the second of Eliot’s Four Quartets), Wright speaks about “hoping for the wrong thing.”

I asked Wright how might we better think about hope.

The point is that we all too quickly hope for “our heart’s desire” without thinking that perhaps we need to let God do quite a job of reordering our hearts. In my tradition we have an old prayer which asks that God would so enable us “to love what you command, and desire what you promise.” Far too much of modernity, including would-be Christian modernity, is wanting God to command what we already love, and promise what we already desire. Eliot, (echoing St. John of the Cross) is challenging that and suggesting we might have to wait on God’s fresh leading before we know what we should really be hoping for.
The prayer:
Almighty God, who alone can bring order to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity: give your people grace so to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, among the many changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP)
N. T. Wright: We Mourned Our Alleluias on Easter | Christianity Today

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