Hope- Anchor of our Soul
Just like the theme “Keep Moving Forward” seemed to show up in different venues, so too has the word, HOPE recently. Grounded in Hope from Walking with Purpose is actually the name of the Bible Study I attend this year! I also came across a very inspiring letter of hope, and it is the theme of one of my favorite Bible verses.
Of the three theological virtues, I think hope is the least discussed. I have to admit that I did not fully understand its entire beauty until I read the Catechism and heard it explained by Fr. Mike Schmitz.
From the Catholic Catechism: 1817 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. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”84 “The Holy Spirit . . . he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”85
1818 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.
Fr. Mike Schmitz said this about hope: “Hope is rooted deeply in faith. Faith is when we entrust ourselves to another. Faith in God means that I entrust my life to Him. Faith is not just a set of beliefs, it’s a relationship.
Hope is that trust extended into the future. Living that relationship and looking forward in life, this relationship will be what bears me up. This relationship with Jesus, His victory, His strength, His power, is going to be with me and sustain me until I take my last breath and even after that.
Hope is not rooted in just things going well for us, it is something bigger. Hope allows us to know that He has not failed us, He is not failing us, and He will never fail us. It doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen, it does mean He will be at our side. Christian hope is relational, it is personal.”
- “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” G. K. Chesterton
- “Through him, you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21
- “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people” Ephesian 1:18
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in our faith and hope, so that we can have the peace of the Lord, anchoring us in all situations and at all times. Then, His love can freely flow from us to all in our path.
A woman who certainly remained hopeful during very hopeless circumstances is Granny Nancy, the oldest living person in Ireland at 107 years young. She has survived two World Wars, the Spanish flu, financial crisis, the loss of her husband and twin daughters, and now COVID-19. She is one of the few people living who can truly give us perspective and encouragement during this difficult time in our country and the world.
Granny Nancy humbly implores us to keep the faith, stay positive, and always move forward. 🙂 She hopes to celebrate her next birthday! Like a sweet Granny to all of us, she states that she is remembering us in the many rosaries she says each day. As someone who can speak from experience, she reminds us that there is always hope.
Below is the entire article and her inspiring and heartfelt letter. Amazing!
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