Thursday, February 11, 2010


+ updated at 3:02pm EST, Thursday, February 11, 2010

+ This is the third in a series of posts on a marvelous book, God Has A Dream by ArchBishop Desmond TutuThere is a website devoted to the book and its ideas and calls to action.

+ Hope is a theme found throughout God Has A Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time.  The S&P Spiritual Practice of the Day for today, February 11, zeroes in on what Hope is all about:

Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it stands for a chance to succeed. — Vaclav Havel quoted in Lyrics for Re-Creation by James Conlon

To Practice This Thought: Join a group doing good in the world and really believe in its goals, no matter what happens.

The final chapter of God Has A Dream offers many suggestions for such joining.  In other words, Hope is active participation in the risky creation of God's realm of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom.

If Archbishop Tutu and his many colleagues working for a liberated South Africa had not practiced Hope, the day of liberation would not have come.  I know, this seems to be the opposite of what is being said here but I don't think so.  When there was no realistic chance for the movement to succeed, they believed that the movement had already succeeded.  Hope is more than a wish for change.  Hope is a change that has already happened and nothing can prevail against it, not even the appearance of failure.

In the first chapter, Tutu writes:

During the darkest days of apartheid I used to say to P.W. Botha, the president of South Africa, that we had already won, and I invited him and other white South Africans to join the winning side. All the "objective" facts were against us -- the pass laws, the imprisonments, the teargassing, the massacres, the murder of political activists -- but my confidence was not in the present circumstances but in the laws of God's universe.  This is a moral universe, which means that, despite all the evidence that seems to be to the contrary, there is no way that evil and injustice and oppression and lies can have the last word.

Martin Luther King, Jr., no stranger to the same kind of adversity, said: "Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." (The speech containing this famous quote is found at

+ Spirituality and Practice offers many resources and suggestions for our journey of Hope.   

+ Click here to see all of my posts on God Has A Dream.

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