High Hopes


first week of advent hope candle

The season of Advent is upon us and I have some very high hopes it will be spiritually fruitful. It has been a difficult six months and every time I think the difficulty has passed, it rears up again, causing me to despair, daring me to hope. In some ways I have lost hope or decided that I have the power and control to make what I hope for happen. To make it happen right now, before something happens again. And I don’t.

On Sunday, I read, “At a certain point in life, the profound desires and cravings of our heart reach a point of eruption in us. Yet at the same time comes the awareness that we cannot bring about what we want – we do not have inside us what is needed to fulfill and satisfy our longings. And so, with our infinite yearnings we turn to the Infinite and cry, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down.”From Magnificat, First Sunday of Advent, Mass introduction.

Much to my disappointment, there has been an eruption. One eruption would have been enough; there have been quite a few more than one. Before I read the above, I was out alone, running errands and thinking about the latest eruption. What was at the heart of the problem? Please God, show me because I can barely stand myself at this point and I know someone else who probably feels the same way.

And he answered me. My spirit was still troubled but I stopped thinking about it and moved forward. And then before Mass I learned that it isn’t just me with these desires and cravings that just won’t go away. And that God knows and cares and hears. Now I have to do my part. It’s not complicated, but it will take discipline. I sometimes stink at discipline though I know it has rewards.

My focus is on rending my soul, so it may be filled with what the Incarnation brings.

Do you have a particular area you are working on this Advent? Please share it with us if you’d like and know that I will be praying for all of our yearnings.

Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini


About Author

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She and her husband Deacon John have two married children and a grandson. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at DeannaBartalini.com, serves as the editor of the NewEvangelizers.com blog, and is a contributor there as well as at AmazingCatechists.com. Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She has written “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” one book in the series of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women published by Gracewatch Media. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.


  1. It is always a challenge to remember that eruptions in our lives hold great potential and purpose. I enjoyed your reflection Dianna. It reminds me to ponder the book of St. James so that I too will be prepared for my next eruption which will surely come.

    “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
    James 1:2-4 (NASB)

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