Monday, April 11, 2005


Over the white robe of faith, the soul spread a green shawl of hope. Draped in hope, she is liberated from her second adversary: the world. This is the green of living hope in God; it fills her heart with courage. Hope lifts the soul to the sphere of eternal life. In comparison with these divine aspirations, all earthly things seem withered and worthless. The soul cannot take back her worldly wardrobe. She can no longer focus her desire on anything that was, is, or will be in the world. She lives wrapped in hope for nothing less than the infinite. Her heart is so transported that she cannot touch earthly things. She can’t even see them.

St. Paul calls this green disguise the “helmet of salvation.” A helmet protects the whole head. It covers it entirely, except for a visor to peek out of. Hope shrouds the mind’s senses so that they will not become absorbed in worldly things. Shielded by hope, no arrow from the world can wound the soul. Hope opens a visor in the soul through which she can look only toward the divine. David says: “Just as the eyes of the handmaid are fixed on the hands of her mistress, so are our eyes fixed on our God until he has mercy on us who hope in him.”

Wearing the luminous green shawl, gazing perpetually upon God and nothing else, content only with him, the soul brings delight to her Beloved, and he gives her all that she hopes for. Without this green shawl of hope in God alone, the soul might as well not even start out on her journey of love. It is unrelenting hope that moves and overcomes all obstacles.

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