The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Hope
I was going for an afternoon walk with a friend when she was telling me about a conversation she had with her spiritual director. The Priest had asked her, “Out of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and love) which virtue do you feel the weakest in?”
This question prompted me to consider these virtues in a more personal sense and how they applied to my life in a practical way. It was uncomfortable, but after sitting with this question for a while, I was convicted that the virtue I was weakest in was the virtue of hope.
When I think of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, I don’t always think of it as a captivating and beautifully-written text; yet time and time again, I am proven wrong. In section 1818 it teaches us that when one is “buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.”
I love the use of the word “buoyed.” The Catechism is literally telling us that hope keeps us afloat. Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate what it looks like to live in hope, but ultimately it means to desire eternity with Jesus and to have the expectation that this desire will be fulfilled. The Lord wants us to desire greatly.
In Simon Tugwell’s The Beatitudes: Soundings in Christian Tradition, he writes that “our part in this life is to learn to want largely and earnestly enough to make us capable of the infinite rightness of God’s kingdom... The more we try to tame and reduce ourselves and our desires and hopes, the more we deceive and distort ourselves.” He writes that contrary to what we may think, it is actually our lot in this world to keep our desires alive and to treasure them, because it is through these desires that we will be fulfilled. The Lord wants our desires to lead us to happiness even more than we do. He wants them to be the buoy keeping us afloat with a hopeful heart.
Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate what it looks like to live in hope, but ultimately it means to desire eternity with Jesus and to have the expectation that this desire will be fulfilled. #prayerpledge //Click to tweet
Let Us Pray
Jesus, we earnestly desire happiness with You in this life and eternal happiness with You in the next. Give us a firm hope that this holy desire will be fulfilled by Your grace and in Your mercy. Orient all our hopes and dreams to Your will, so that we may live Your perfect peace in this world. Amen!
Do you have the hopeful expectation that God will fulfill your longing for sainthood? Why or why not?
Has has hope been a buoy in the past, and in what ways do you need hope to buoy you now?