Choose a topic from Part 2B:

17. The Virtue of Hope

1. Hope is the theological virtue by which we aspire with confidence to grace and heaven, trusting God, and being resolved to use his help.

2. Hope looks directly to our eternal happiness. It is the reaching after good, and, in last analysis, after the supreme good,that is, God. Now, in reaching after God, we also reach for what the possession of God will give us, that is, eternal happiness.

3. Hope, in the strict sense of the word, is in a person and for himself. Hope is for a good not to come automatically, and indeed not easy to attain, which the person hoping seeks, if possible, to achieve for himself. Hence, properly speaking, we cannot hope for another; we can only wish others well. But, since love unites those who have it, a person may be said to hope for his beloved as for himself; in this sense it is possible for one person to hope on behalf of another.

4. We pin our hope on God, not man. We may indeed have hope in a creature as the instrument of divine providence in our behalf. In this way, for example, we hope in the saints.

5. Hope directs the efforts of man to God and eternal happiness in God. Hence, hope is atheological virtue. (The Greek word theos means God; from theos we have the word theological for whatever directly pertains or has reference to God.)

6. Faith makes us adhere to God as the source of truth; hope makes us adhere to God as the source of good; charity makes us adhere to God for his own sake. Hence, it appears that hope is a virtue distinct from the other two theological virtues.

7. Hope comes after faith inasmuch as faith gives knowledge of what is to be hoped for.

8. Hope precedes charity inasmuch as the hope of good engenders love of it. Yet when love is stirred for what was hoped for - perhaps, up to that point, out of fear or self-interest - it gives hope a perfection; hope from then on is newly perfect; in this sense charity precedes perfected hope.

"The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary consists in hearing the word of God and living by it."
R. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP

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"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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