At a time in the life of the church, when so many are disheartened and ashamed, how can we speak of a time to hope? When people in the pews – and most in the pulpits – are dismayed not only by accounts of abuse but by the responses of leaders, where will we find hope?
A Time to Hope is a timely, honest and faith-filled response to that cry.
The author, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, is deeply aware of the qualities of Jesus’ heart: tenderness, affection, loyalty, courage and the ability to challenge; strong but full of mercy and forgiveness. All this informs his call to hope, his reflections on prayer and lament, his deep awareness of God’s love and compassion, his confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit to renew and refresh.
Here is an invitation to take prayer seriously; to explore what is happening when we pray, to notice our feelings, our distractions, our experiences, our memories, our hopes, our fears; and gradually to grow towards God in Christ.
Originally a series of retreats for priests, the book is now offered to all Christians struggling with prayer, looking for ways to renew and strengthen their sense of belonging, open to receiving into their hearts the gift of hope that only God can give.
In the wake of criminal behaviour by those most trusted, and floundering; and hopeless responses by the shepherds, where might the church find hope? Paul Castley acknowledges the anguish and loss that accompanies us, but reframes our experience through the ancient pairing of lament and hope. Expressing shame and grief in our prayer is healing and life giving, opening us to accept the Spirit’s invitation to hope.
– Jim Monaghan, Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie.
Title: A Time to Hope: Finding Encouragement in Prayer and Ministry
Author: Paul F. Castley MSC
Publisher: Coventry Press