Who Am I (9)? Hopeful and Despairing

There is always something that invites hope. Likewise, there is always something that invites despair. Sometimes I choose one, sometimes I choose the other.

Hope and Despair, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Hope looking up with Despair stabbing herself with a sword

My Prayer:

You know my deep longing for hope. You know my ability to despair. Lead me more deeply into Your love so that I may chose hope more often, I pray.

Hope, Virtues and Vices on the South Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
The shield of Hope

Scriptural Touchstones: 

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. Psalm 42:11 (NRSV)

Hope, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Hope lifting her head

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “God is my portion,” says my soul,“therefore I will hope in God.” Lamentations 3:19-24 (NRSV)

Despair, Virtues Vices on South Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Despair with her sword

Invitation To Pray:

When is it easiest to hope? To despair? Which are you experiencing more strongly today?

Hope and Despair on the South Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion
Hope (top) and Despair (bottom)

What prayers are emerging in your body, mind, heart, and imagination? Pray them now.


Virtues & Vices, North Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion

Hope and despair found on the third voussoir of the east bay of the north porch at the Chartres Cathedral in France. These statues, carved between 1194-1230, are third from the bottom on the right.

Virtues Vices South Porch by Jill K H Geoffrion

Hope and despair on the south porch are found on the west side of a pillar of the west portal. They are the middle two sculptures and were also carved between 1194-1230.

Other posts in this series that seeks to explore the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: Who are God? And who am I?

Anslem’s Spiritual Beatitudes:
Who Am I? (The Virtues and the Vices: 1)
Who Am I? (2) Beautiful
Who Am I? (3) Free!
Who Am I? (4) Honorable
Who Am I? (5) Joyful in the Deepest Sense of the Word
Who Am I? (6) Sensual
Who Am I? (7) Agile
Who Am I? (8) Strong
The Virtues and the Vices (Medieval Sculptures)
Who Am I? (9) Faithful and Unfaithful

Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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