In light of the moment of this time of challenge and crisis we are facing as a Church, the one spiritual gift that I appreciate most deeply is the divine gift of hope. While it is a fragile gift, it is also the source of the energy and resolve that we will need to move forward in faith.
For believers, hope is the theological virtue, infused in us at the moment of our baptism, that focuses our desire to be fulfilled not solely in earthly things but in the glory of heaven. It is the divine energy and power that gives us a perspective that can judge all things in the light of eternity, trust God’s promise that He will lead us to eternal glory and give us the strength to sustain suffering and even moments of crisis in service of the Lord and His message of eternal life. Without hope, we cannot truly love because we would not have the power to endure what love demands- perseverance in sacrifice on behalf of the person we love. Without hope, even faith could easily fail, since hope alone allows us to trust that the Lord will keep His word, even when it is hard to see how that can happen.
Hope also gives us a methodology to move ahead in life when we encounter failure or betrayal. Saint Augustine once described hope in the following way, “Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage: anger at the way things are and courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” Righteous anger is greatly needed to confront the evil in our midst. However, anger must also give birth to the courage that will seek through reflection, collaboration, and justice, to change failure into new life. Such anger and courage are what hope is all about.
As I reflect upon the recent weeks in our Church, I am grateful to the Lord for the gift of hope.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!