The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Hope
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. // Catechism of the Catholic Church 1817
What leads to discouragement? Discouragement enters into our lives when we place hope in ourselves, in others, or in created things.
What leads to true, lasting joy? Placing our hope in God.
When we rely on our own strength we will fall. Yet when we acknowledge our weakness and place our hope in God, that is when we become strong. It’s a beautiful irony that our weaknesses—far from disqualifying us from God’s mercy—are what qualify us to receive grace upon grace.
In Psalm 61 we read:
On a rock too high for me to reach, set me on high.
This beautifully illustrates the virtue of hope. It expresses the total reliance we have upon God. It is God who lifts us up to the heights of Heaven, to the heights that we hope and long for.
A person who lived out the virtue of hope perfectly was Jesus’ Mother, Mary. She desired the kingdom of Heaven and eternal life was her goal. She placed her complete trust in God’s promises, and with her “fiat” relied on the strength of God rather than Her own. And with the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit she received the help of His grace.
May we look to Our Lady, the bright star of hope, as our model.
Let Us Pray
Blessed Mother, you show us what it looks like to hope. Please pray for us, that your Spouse, the Holy Spirit, would fill our souls with the theological virtue of hope, so that we can rely more upon Him for our sanctification and our happiness. Amen.
How do you rely upon your own strength? How might the Lord be inviting you to rely more completely upon Him?
Imagine surrendering that area to Christ. Do you feel lighter? Free? Scared? Relieved? Hopeful? Hesitant? Take some time to explore this with the Lord in prayer.