Ardeth Platte Writes from Danbury Federal Prison
My dear friends,
God's act of hope and love birthed the Son, Jesus Christ, as Light into darkness, two thousand years ago. That same hope, love, and light is shining forth within us as we nourish these gifts daily. A blessed Advent and Christmas be yours for your journey into and through the New Year 2005.
From My Perspective
Kathy Kelly, Voices in the Wilderness, Peace Teams who share basic necessities, accompany the children and remain in the war zones display hope in the midst of terror. Kairos, Open Door Community, Catholic Worker Houses, Sanctuaries for CO's bestow hope to homeless, hungry, exiled and refugees. Our prayer communities in prison who hold each other up live hope in the face of an oppressive and punitive system that dehumanizes, knocks down, punishes and injures the spirit. With hope all of you who teach, preach, and witness non-violence send tidal waves of hope across the world. My Dominican and Jonah Communities risk hope in love.
H eavenly vision of what God made the world to be
From Letters and Books
Others speak of hope much better than I:
Cecile Roy from Japan – “ Hope is the memory of the future and is stronger than death.”
Rachel Kobasa – “I see hope when I see smiles on people's faces. Everyone looks happy and complete strangers smile at each other on the street.”
Clare Kobasa – “ In Greek mythology, when Pandora opened the box that let all the evils of the world out, the last thing left in the box was hope. It is hope that allows us to continue on, even in the face of all the evil in the world. Hope is a promise that there is always a chance for the future. Anything is possible, hope tells us that change can come. It is hope that pushes us to work for this change because hope shows that we cannot give up and ignore the possibility of something better. Hope is an intangible gift, impossible to categorize, because even trying to describe hope fails to acknowledge the strength and purpose it provides when all else seems lost.”
Joan Chittister – “In every struggle there is a hidden blessing. Hope and despair are not opposites. They are cut from the very same cloth, made from the very same material, shaped from the very same circumstances. Every life finds itself forced to choose one from the other, one day at a time, one circumstance after another. The sunflower, that plant which in shadow turns its head relentlessly toward the sun, is the patron saint of those in despair. When darkness descends on the sour, it is time, like the sunflower, to go looking for whatever good thing in life there is that can bring us comfort. Then we need music and hobbies and friends and fun and new thought – not immersion in the pain that is killing us. The worst thing is to dull rather than displace the pain with the kind of joy or comfort that makes us new. “Give light”, Erasmus wrote, “and the darkness will disappear of itself.” from Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope
For More Hope – read Testimony: The Word Made Fresh by Daniel Berrigan, especially pp. 226-227 and The Nuclear Resister , PO Box 43383,Tucson AZ 85733 (order it and send a donation) Also re-read: Fighting the Lamb's War by Philip Berrigan
Your letters bring me so much hope.
Ardeth Platte #10857-039