- as a feeling, is a reaction to a desired object that seems difficult to attain
- as a theological virtue, is based on God’s infinite goodness, power, and mercy
- is concerned with the present moment, not the future
- is motivated by the revelation of God’s infinite mercy
- OMOH, 132
- *OMOH: 164
- CF: 71-75
- IG: 90, 115-116, 119, 152
- AW: 38-40
- FG: 101-102
Hope is the grace that trusts God in the midst of everydayness with its ever-recurring trips to nowhere and the recycling of the same old temptations. Hope goes on trusting and sustains transformation, even without any experience of it happening.
Faith leads to the second theological virtue: Hope. Hope, as a feeling, is an immediate sense reaction to a good that is perceived to be possible, but difficult to attain.
The feeling of hope is contrasted with despair which arises when something difficult to obtain appears impossible. This kind of hope is very different from theological Hope, which is not based on any feeling, but only on God. Theological Hope is rooted in God’s infinite goodness, power, and mercy, and is about the present moment, not the future. In theological Hope, God is communicating Himself, the formal motive of theological Hope.
As we grow in Hope, all we want to do is God’s will in the present moment. This is to put all our hope in God. In the Gospels, Jesus leads many (e.g., Martha and Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, the Canaanite woman) from a weak faith to a strong living faith that is gradually transformed into Hope. The result of their Hope in Him was their complete turning to God. When we see with the eyes of faith and hear with the ears of Hope, we become responsive to the Gospel. Without that awakening, we are constantly blown around by surface impressions and emotional reactions.
Distinguish the theological virtue of Hope from an automatic response to something that seems good but difficult to attain.
How does your faith connected with Hope? How does God’s revelation influence your Hope?
Focus on something good that seems possible, even if difficult to obtain.