I’ve been thinking about writing this post for hmm probably a week now. Hope has been a prominent virtue and struggle for me for many years now. In fact, one year my mom gave me a sweatshirt for Christmas and she probably bought it because it had cute snowmen and stuff on it, but I actually remember opening it and almost crying because under the cutesie snowman picture was the word hope. And I had recently met with the pastor of my parish and we talked at length about hope. We talked about hope because it was something he saw as lacking in my life, and was encouraging me to pray for hope.
According to dictionary.com here are a few definitions:
So there’s a more worldly perspective of hope, but let’s take a look at what the catechism says about hope (see 1817-1821 or click here):
Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit
The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hope that inspires men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during time of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude.
Hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
Hope is a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation.
So. Hope is pretty powerful. It’s a far more complicated thing than simply anticipating the good outcome of a situation.
Hope is our “hail mary”. You know, how in sports they say they’re gonna go for some absurd field goal kick as a “hail mary” to win the game. Or in medicine, the doctors are gonna try this new experimental drug for a treatment when none of the known treatments are working they might call it a “hail mary”
Hope is our saving grace. hmm. Jesus is our savior. Hope is a virtue which we can only attain by the grace of God. Anyway.
Many of you who regularly read my blog or follow me on social media in any capacity have also recently expressed love and/or concern for me because it seems like I’ve been going through a rough patch. Which is undoubtedly true. I’m essentially in an extended transition period. I’ve faced several person trials recently on top of kicking off a new semester and that not going quite as smoothly as I would have liked. And in addition to these different stressors there has been a dryness and a simpleness to prayer. I show up, in some way every day. I would turn to the Lord. But I often feel like I’m talking to no one. I often feel like he’s not there. It seems he’s not looking out for me that He doesn’t have my back. But I show up anyway. I trust He is there. He has promised, and we have a Father who keeps his promises.
SO despite all these stressors and trials, despite this essential darkness I’ve been experiencing, I have still been able to hope (i.e. please don’t worry about me, pray for me. I need all the prayers I can get, but don’t worry).
For hope is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.
And it is because of this hope, that I am confidant the Lord truly is present and that He is here. B
ecause it is only by his grace that we are able to hope.
So I’m gonna leave this with a quote from the catechism on hope:
We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere to the end and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ.