Friday 6 January 2023

Hope in Adversity - Vima Dasan SJ - CTS Devotions

Hope in Adversity
CTS Devotions
Vima Dasan SJ
Catholic Truth Society
CTS Booklet D656

Over the last few years I have read over 330 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society. I stumbled upon them while doing research on an author, and have been hooked ever since. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and I loved the books in the CTS Great Saints Series. I love reading about so many saints, their lives and their times. My other favourite books form the CTS are the Prayers and Devotions books. The edition of this book I tracked down was from 2002. The description of this booklet is:
“This book gives guidance and encouragement to those going through a period of suffering. It offers the Word of God from Scripture as a divine source of inspiration, light and hope, together with writings from popular spiritual masters, and thoughtful reflections. It reflects on Faith, Patience, Prayer, Trust, Obedience and Hope in adversity. This little book of comfort counsels us not to fear, but to make a companion of wisdom, to pray confidently to the loving Father, to trust in God's will in the everyday things, and to live with courageous hope.”

The chapters and sections in this book are:

Faith in Adversity 
     We believe in the blessings of trial 
     We believe God is in every tomorrow 
     We believe:: God is in our defeats 
     We believe holy audacity is better than human timidity 
     We believe even when we do not feel 
     We believe the cross God sends  the best for us 
     We believe because we are certain 

Patience in Adversity 
     Patience is power 
     Patience is a training ground 
     Patience with physical illness 
     Patience with calumnies 
     Patience with old age 
     Patience with all human limitations 
     Patience with God's delays 
     Patience with God's absence 
     Patience is not passivity 

Prayer in Adversity 
     Prayer is a remedy 
     Prayer is rest 
     Prayer is to look into heaven 
     Prayer of faith 
     Prayer of petition 
     Prayer of complaint 
     Prayer at dawn 
     Prayer in waiting 
     Praying always 

Trust in Adversity 
     Trusting is the language or the heart 
     Trusting when warned about tomorrow 
     Trusting when confused 
     Trusting when faced with obstacles 
     Trusting when losing a beloved 
     Trusting when God hides his face 
     Trusting when spiritually drained 

Obedience in Adversity 
     Obedience is surrender of self 
     Obedience though disappointed 
     Obedience though tempted 
     Obedience gives up ‘the less’ for ‘the greater’ 
     Obedience offers the softest pillow 
     How do we know God's will? 

Hope in Adversity 
     Hope in divine providence 
     Hope in the second chance 
     Hope in inner springs 
     Hope in moral lapses 
     Hope in all trials 
     Hope is creative 
     Hope makes life worth living 


The introduction of this volume states:

“The Life of each one of us is to a greater or lesser extent touched by adversity. We arc from time to time faced with difficulties, worries, and problem, however great or small.

The Christian disciple is ever engaged in learning to be like the Master - Jesus. We are being schooled in the virtues of faith, patience, prayer, trust, obedience and above all hope.

This little booklet was written to be dipped in to as often as adversity appears – disappointment, confusion and suffering. There is a word of hope on every page, supported by scripture and the writings of many who have gone before us. Do keep this little book to hand.”

And I could easily see returning to it from time to time as need arises or as a refresher. In some ways this volume felt like it was a bit of a harder read. But maybe that was some of the adversity it speaks about. It was a little more work but it is well worth the effort. I highlighted numerous passages while reading this story, some of them are:

“As in a landscape, so in the life of us, there will be ‘hills and valleys’. We need both. if our life is all one dead level, it will be dull and it will oppress us with its sameness. It is the hills that collect the rain for fruitful valleys. So it is the hill of difficulties that drives us to the throne of God's grace and brings down showers of blessings.”

“So too, to become a giant instrument for God's service, the road a believer has to travel is not along the sunny lane with wild flowers of comforts but steep, rocky, and narrow pathway of hardships.”

“Faith must never be left to the mercy of feelings as ideals can’t be left to the mercy of the stomach.”

“To an artist, practice makes his art perfect. A ballerina once said, ‘If I omit practice one day, I notice it; if two clays, my friends notice it; if three clays, the public notice it.’ It is so with prayer. We have to continue believing and to continue praying.”

“An old man surprised everyone with his cheerfulness, since he seemed to have an unusual amount of troubles and relatively few pleasures. When asked the secret or his cheerfulness, he replied. “Well, you see, it is like this. The Bible says often, ‘And it came to pass,’ never, ‘It came to stay.’ It is true we can’t live on hope alone: however, we can’t live without it either.”

“Hope is not just longing, but an active working towards the betterment of oneself and the improvement of the world.”

“Hope generates an optimistic outlook. There are, thank God, many incorrigible optimists in the world who inspire us.”

“If we hope in God, we will not let anyone or anything control our attitude and block our horizon.”

I hope those few quotes will give you a feel for the volume. It was a very timely read. There is a lot of great material in this little booklet. I can easily recommend this volume. It is an excellent resource!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For reviews of other books in the CTS Devotions series click here.

Books by Vima Dasan:
His Word for Today: Daily Homilies for Weekdays (Years 1 and 2)
His Word Is Life: Daily Homilies for Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter Seasons and Solemnities, Feasts and Memorials
His Word Comforts
Advent Light: Daily Reflections For The Advent Season
His Word Lives: Homilies For Sundays, Feast Days And Special Occasions, For Cycles A, B And C
Lenten Light: Daily Reflections For The Season Of Lent
Daily Spiritual Reflections
Ministry in Tears: International Priests' Missionary Life and Ministry
Wounded Deer Leaps Highest

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