Resilience to life is dependent on our ability to deal with disappointments. We can plan how life is meant to be, and on occasion our dreams come true. But wishful thinking can take a down turn. Your beautiful child with talents gets hooked on drugs that limit hopes for a bright future. Your marriage, seemingly made in heaven, turns into a sharing of negative energy that gives little hope for peace and reconciliation. Even with a positive attitude looking forward to retirement can turn to loss with the sudden death of a spouse. That which was to be shared is now a lonely prospect.

Any of these disappointments can bring grief and reluctance to take a new step forward. Taking that step too soon may not honor what was lost. It may seem to trivialize what was hoped for. But not going forward can leave one buried in grief. And the grief can become so familiar that one settles into it without hope for the future.

Recovery can entail many steps with counseling, medical and spiritual assistance, and support from family and friends. We need to move through the stages of grief anticipating that we will eventually arrive at acceptance of our situation - at least for awhile. We also need to move beyond feeling sorry for ourselves and be open to love again.

Our resilience to a renewed life is likely to come when we take courage to hope. This is more than wishful thinking. It is hope founded in Christ. As Archbishop William Temple spoke of it, "Christian hope is the consecration of desire, and desire is the hardest thing of all to consecrate. When you positively hope for the Kingdom of God, then your desire becomes consecrated. That will only happen as you begin to think how lovely the life according to Christ is."

Our hope is not only to receive the gifts of this life. It is a spiritual desire to be drawn closer to the presence of God. This relationship is beyond the limitations of human desire. It is an entrance into the mystery and wonder of God who can fill our hearts with love for one another and ourselves. We learn to give thanks for the persons we are, even if flawed. With humility we begin to accept ourselves as we are -- a prelude to accepting others as they are. We are then able to be drawn into relationships that are for the good of others. Helping those in need is often a good way to get out of our own ruts caused by self-pity.

Perhaps it is easier said than done, but St. Paul gives us these words of encouragement. "The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope." (Romans 15:13)