As I recently “scoured” the landscape of life, it seemed that almost all the news was discouraging. I won’t repeat all the bad news because you’re probably already aware of most of it, and if you’re not, why ruin your day. With all of this, I was feeling a bit “gloomy”, using a phrase from my mother’s Irish vocabulary. Nevertheless, I thought this isn’t right. As a Christian, I should not be “gloomy”…. I should be happy.
So first of all, I thought maybe my “faith” is just weak or weakening…… hmmmmmm. So I went to the catechism to refresh myself on the various descriptions of the virtues… the human virtues of which the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance are key and the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. I began wandering around other sections on the 7 capital sins and corresponding virtues…and what about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit…… woe, woe, woe…. “let’s slow down a bit St. Augustine …calm down Padre Pio….woe, this could quickly get out of hand.”
Well, I landed for the moment of the theological gift of HOPE. Let’s take a peek at section 1818 of the catechism:
“The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire 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 times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.”
That is very well said…. hope keeps a man from discouragement…. it sustains him in tough times… it leads to happiness.
Well in addition to everything else, I think my hope has been under attack. It’s easy to be hopeful when everything is going great, yet in truth we need this virtue when things are not going well….like now.
“Hope against hope”, the classic quote from Romans 4:18, says that when there’s no earthly reason to hope, yet I will hope ….. because of Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to keep us on track with this. Every emotion may point to discouragement and despair… every analysis of the facts may point to disaster, yet Jesus is Lord and he will have the last word.
Who am I going to trust? Shall I trust the politicians who often disdain God ? Shall I put my trust in the tired and discouraged churchman who has thrown in the towel? What about the “rich and famous” who have power from their bank account or following on social media ?
No, I will place my trust in the Lord. When the dust has cleared, Jesus will be standing and his enemies will be in shame and defeat. Regardless of how things look on the TV News or Internet, Jesus Christ is Lord ! He is the source of my hope. That is very good news.