Hope grounded in Christ and his Church is the only way to true peace on this earth. Hope is sincerely lacking in the modern man. If men had hope they wouldn’t be using porn, they wouldn’t be killing themselves at alarming rates, they wouldn’t be abusing their bodies with drugs, etc. . . Hope allows man to see beyond their current problems and refocuses their gaze on the road to salvation which really is all that matters in this world. God is hope.
We also need to as a society, in our high schools and colleges, is teach the virtues to our children. We have lost complete track of them and how they help us live a good Catholic Christian life.
Please read the article below from a Christendom College student, Abigail C. Reimel on the virtue of hope.
The Necessary Virtue of Hope
Published on July 16th, 2015 | by Abigail C. Reimel –
During any phase of transition, the importance of the theological virtues of faith and love are always emphasized. One is counseled to have faith that God will bring the best result out of the situation, while being reminded to either love those also struggling or to be very loving to the one who is facing the changes alone. While these are very important pieces of advice, often the incredibly important virtue of hope is lost in the mix.
Hope is of extreme importance in a Christian life, especially when in the middle of difficult or confusing times. Though faith in God can help assuage worry, and love can help overcome the sadness over what is being left behind, hope is the virtue which lifts one out of the situation and anticipate the future with joy. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in his beautiful encyclical Spe Salvi, “Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well” (2).
Because times of change involve many decisions and actively considering all the possible problems to come, a person leans on faith to take care of what he does not have time to consider, and love to help him feel better in the moment. But ultimately it is hope which is needed to reach that interior peace which allows one to look beyond the present pain, to find joy in the struggle, and to muster the strength to reach for the good that is ahead. Through hope one can be at peace about what is to come, and thus handle the immediate concerns with a clear mind.
Through hope, that person can embrace the trials directly in front of him with the attitude which will bring him to more positive endings, and enable him to weather even the hardest storms of life, for the sake of reaching that promise of joy. Whether it is a time of transition, when hope is especially easy to lose but extremely important to have — when so much of life is uncertain and it is hard to grasp onto anything that brings lasting joy — or a time when the state of politics or a more personal grief are weighing heavily and bringing distress, hope is the calm in the storm. Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI reminds Christians in his encyclical that this necessary hope is imprinted in each one of them, imprinted in the heart of every person, but which Christians have special access to through the Gospels.
“To come to know God — the true God — means to receive hope” (3), the dear Pope counseled the Church. And in these times, it truly is the hope within each Christian heart which slowly but surely transforms the world, by transforming each modern disciple interiorly, enabling each of them to extend the Good News to the lost sheep around them. This hope burns within them because their Shepherd found them first, and wrote a stunning love letter special for them, to encourage them when life is hard by reminding them that there is always a reason to hope, found in Him.
“The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of new life” (2). This is why converts are always so passionate about their newfound faith, and also why the Catholic Church has stood the test of time: because Christ has lit the fire of hope in the souls of His children, and the joy which has filled them empowers them to face each day’s challenges with grace while ultimately praying for the day when all lives will be joined together in Christ’s New Earth.
And that is why, more personally and immediately, I find myself in need of this missing virtue. For “[m]an’s great, true hope which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God — God who has loved us and who continues to love us ‘to the end,’ until all ‘is accomplished’ (cf. John 13:1 and 19:30)” (27). Often in the midst of transition and trials, I start to rely and look only at myself, when ultimately it is the faith in God that will center me, the love of God that will comfort me, and the hope to be found in Him which will empower me to approach the worst of situations with positivity, while bearing them for the sake of the good to be achieved.
So, with Pope Emeritus Benedict the XVI, through the blessing of our God, I invite you to join me in this journey, to invite hope back into our lives, and rediscover the way God will use it to transform us.