Dearest Sister

I write to you about hope. At times, as you have said, it is easy to become cynical and judgmental of people. Truly there is much darkness in the world, and sometimes the suffering and pain, the anger and injustice that surrounds us is overwhelming. But here, when all we can see is the darkness, is it most important to cultivate hope, for this is the only weapon we have against cynicism and despair. I write you these words to fulfill your request, so that you have a summarized version in ink of some of the things we discussed when I was with you. Consider them carefully, and I hope that you will find them of some assistance as you continue to fight on the battlefield of life.

Of the utmost importance is this: you must learn to care for, love, and accept yourself. For only as much as you accept yourself can you accept others. Only as much as you care for yourself can you care for others. This is a tricky business, because it is also a terrible thing to become self absorbed and overly introspective. What I mean is this, that when you are able to see clearly, and not only see clearly but to accept compassionately, all that is bent and misshapen in you, and you work hard and gently and wisely to right these wrongs in your heart, only then will you be able to help others and accept them and truly love them. As you yourself have said, we ought to pour out our lives in sacrifice for others: this is our duty and privilege in life, but what good will it do anyone if the life we pour out is full of slime and sludge? Therefore take care to cultivate a life of holiness and purity, for only then will you be able to help others in the same.

This brings us again to the topic of hope. You must have complete faith in the fact that there is potential for good — and even existence of good — in all people. You must believe and try to see more and more clearly every day that our Father in heaven is righting all wrongs and will in the end bring something perfect, good, beautiful, flawless from the mess you see and experience around you. Hope is believing and acting upon a truth that you do not yet have the faculties to perceive or comprehend. Only after you truly believe and have faith in the fact that everything will turn out right will you one day be able to truly see and understand this. Until that day comes when you gain insight, have faith. I believe this to be the most important thing anyone can believe, for without this faith all is dark and hopeless and pointless: your ability to accomplish justice and peace for God’s kingdom in this world hinges upon this faith and vision. Above all, guard your heart and vision from becoming clouded and jaded with cynicism, for this leads to darkness and despair, which will sap truth and justice from the world and people around you.

It is hard to cultivate faith and hope, and a hard thing to love and care for  yourself. I ask you to look at my faith and my hope as an example if it be any assistance to you. I love you very deeply, and if you cannot love yourself I ask you to see my love for you and know that I see a beautiful soul, a beautiful heart in you, and I ask you to try to see, or at the very least believe, the same thing. Know that I believe in you.

Never be afraid but instead be eager to ask others for help, for it is only in asking that we receive. While each of us must walk the path of life with our own two feet, there are many hands and hearts along the way to help, and it is when we try to do everything on our own that we will most assuredly fail. I send with my words my love and my prayers, and ask you to ponder all of them. May the peace, hope, and faith of God fill your life. Amen.

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