Cynthia Bourgeault has studied and taught in a number of Benedictine monasteries in the United States and Canada. She is the author of Love Is Stronger Than Death. In this illuminating volume on the dynamics of hope, Bourgeault suggests a new way of envisioning this Christian virtue that plays a major role in the Biblical account of God's dealings with humankind: "Mystical hope is not tied to a good outcome, to the future. It lives a life of its own, seemingly without reference to external circumstances and conditions."
The author, an Episcopal priest and teacher of contemplative prayer, believes that hope grows out of an encounter with God's mercy and then bears fruit within us. Meditation practice "nurtures the latent capacities within us that can perceive and respond to divine hope."
In order to amplify these points, she uses illustrative material from Jacob Boehme, Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, Kabir Helminski, Helen Luke, Valentin Tomberg, and the film Babette's Feast. The end result is that we begin to reimagine hope's force fields within us and within all things. Bourgeault concludes: "Hope is divine energy and intelligence moving toward the accomplishment of its purposes: it makes use of us rather than we of it." The author challenges the church "to become a sign of hope in a broken world," to walk the talk of love, compassion, forgiveness, and transformation.