The faith that I love best,
says God, is hope.
Faith doesn’t surprise me.
It’s not surprising.
I am so resplendent in my creation.
Charity, says God, that doesn’t surprise me.
It is not surprising.
These poor creatures are so unhappy that, unless they had a heart of stone,
they could not help but love one another.
But hope, says God, that is something that does surprise me, myself.
It is surprising.
That these poor children see how things are going
and persist in believing they will go better tomorrow.
That is surprising and it is indeed the greatest marvel of Our grace.
I am surprised by it, myself.
What is my grace and what is the strength of my grace that
this little hope, vacillating at the breath of sin, trembling with every gasp, anxious at the least breath,
be as unceasing, remain as faithful, as righteous, as pure ;
and invincible, and immortal,
and impossible to extinguish ;
as that little flame in the sanctuary.
That burns eternally in the faithfull lamp.
Charles Péguy, French Poet (translated with some help from « The Portico of the Mystery of the Second Virtue », translation Dorothy Brown Aspinwall, Metuchen , New Jersey, Scarecrow Press 1970)
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