Choose a topic from Part 2B:

18. The Subject of Hope

1. Hope belongs to the order of appetency, not merely to the order of knowing. It is a striving for something. Now, it cannot be in the sense appetites, for hope as a theological virtue strives for the divine good, and the senses know nothing of this.Hence, hope belongs to the order of intellectual appetency, that is, it belongs to the will. Therefore, the proper subject of hope is the will. We recall, as we have done many times, that thesubject of anything is that in which the thing is properly said to reside, or by which the thing is possessed.

2. As we noticed elsewhere in our study, the virtue of hope is fulfilled in heaven. It is supplanted by the vision of God.When that which is hoped for is attained, the hope for it no longer exists. Hence, in heaven, hope does not exist.

3. The angels and the blessed souls in heaven have nothing further to hope for. But what of the damned? Do they hope for pardon and release? By no means. The damned know perfectly that they have actually and willfully rejected happiness, and they continue to reject it; hence, they do not hope for it. Hope exists only on earth and in purgatory. Man on earth hopes for heaven and the means to get there; souls in purgatory are sure of heaven, but they hope for their moment of being ready to enter it.

4. Our hope for God and heaven gives us assurance - nay, it gives us certainty - that we shall attain what we hope for if we do our part. The certainty of this hope rests on the unfailing goodness and mercy of God, and on his absolute fidelity to his promises.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"The Lord has always revealed to mortals the treasures of his wisdom and his spirit, but now that the face of evil bares itself more and more, so does the Lord bare his treasures more."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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