Luma Simms is a writer; her essays and articles have appeared in First Things, Public Discourse, The Federalist, Institute for Family Studies, and other publications.

Lessons in Hope

The butterflies cluster around the lantana plant in my backyard, in the Phoenician desert of Arizona. I see them as I look up from my desk. It’s a joy to provide sustenance to bees and butterflies in the way of well-watered flowering plants. I wasn’t as fastidious with my herb garden this summer. It died. But the devilish heat is waning and the cool temperatures will soon give me new mercies to replant my beloved herbs. And so it is with our souls—we are dry deserts perpetually in need of Living Water.

It is the way of God to use these signs to communicate his love, grace, wisdom, and goodness to us. In bread and wine; in butterflies, hummingbirds, and flower nectar; in gardens and in books. The book, Lessons in Hope: My Unexpected Life with St. John Paul II by George Weigel is such a book—one given to the church and to all people of goodwill, to communicate the myriad of ways God acts in this world. God in his providence gave us a Karol Wojtyla–Joannes Paulus II, and he gave us a George Weigel, and he meant for us to learn from each, and from both, of them. “In the designs of Providence, there are no mere coincidences,” the Holy Father said on the one year anniversary of his attempted assassination.

From beginning to end, the Lessons in Hope moves symphonically between the two men’s lives. But as autobiographical as parts of this book are, Weigel never slacks off on his duty, which is to recount and interpret the life of Pope St. John Paul II.

Read the rest at The Federalist

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