The Hope That Is In You

Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you.  (1 Peter 3:15)

Usually, the word “hope” is used in a secular context.  “I hope mom makes pizza for dinner.”  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m more interested in the theological virtue of hope.

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa writes about the virtue of hope in Mary, Mirror of the Church.   Mary at the foot of the Cross is not only the “Mother of Sorrows,” but she is also the “Mother of Hope.”  At the foot of the Cross, she “hoped against hope.”

“Hope against hope,” is explained this way by H. Schlier in Der Romerbrief: ” without having any reason whatsoever for hope, in a situation that, humanly speaking, is entirely hopeless and in total contrast with the promise made, one never ceases to hope solely in virtue of the word of hope, uttered at the time by God.”  Mother Mary hoped in the resurrection.  By her example, we too hope in the resurrection.

It’s through the virtue of hope that we can begin to understand suffering.  Fr. Cantalamessa reminds us that it isn’t enough to pity sufferers or try to alleviate suffering.  Anyone can do that.  What the Church is called to do, by Mary’s example, is to “transmit hope, proclaiming that suffering is not absurd, that it is meaningful, because there will be a resurrection after death.”

As I continue to read Fr. Cantalamessa, I have many more questions about hope, especially since relieving pain and suffering is something I’m called to do, not just personally, but professionally.  With Wise Friend’s spiritual direction and his constant reminder of “Jesus is our life; Mary is the way,” I’m slowly beginning to understand.

Here’s a prayer by St. Claude De La Colombiere that Wise Friend has directed me to say every morning after praying the Liturgy of the Hours:

An Act of Hope and Confidence in God

My God, I believe most firmly that Thou watchest over all who hope in Thee, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon Thee in all things:  therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee.

People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honours;  sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee;  I may even lose Thy grace by sin;  but my trust shall never leave me.  I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.

Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervour of their prayers; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope.  “For Thou, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope.”  This confidence can never be in vain.  “No one has hoped in the Lord and has been confounded.”

I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee.  “In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.”

I know, alas!  I know but too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue.  I have seen stars fall from heaven, and pillars of firmament totter; but these things alarm me not.  While I hope in Thee I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my trust shall endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain this unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that my confidence cannot exceed Thy bounty, and that I shall never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee.  Therefore I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assaults of the evil one, and that Thou wilt cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies.  I hope that Thou wilt never cease to love me, and that I shall love Thee unceasingly.  “In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded.”

Deo Gratias

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22 Responses to The Hope That Is In You

  1. A beautiful prayer from St. Claude De La Colombiere which I had never come across in my readings. I thank you for it. Hope is probably the most misunderstood of the Theological virtues and an important link between our Faith that we hold firm in belief and the Love that we always aspire to. It is indispensable. To them both.

  2. Bekah says:

    Thank you. That is a beautiful prayer! I’m going to add it to our Prayer resources at our blog.

  3. Teresa Rice says:

    The first part in talking about suffering reminded me of redemptive suffering. Beautiful prayer. God Bless.

  4. vftmom247 says:

    Beautiful inspirational prayer. “Hoping against hope ” is truly what Mary exemplifies at the bottom of the Cross, just praying that this atrocity against her child that she is witnessing will have a meaning equal to the pain suffered. The wonderful thing for us all is that – it did!

  5. Pingback: A Prayer and Link About Hope | Believe Anyway

  6. Beautiful. Re-blogging

  7. vftmom247 says:

    Reblogged this on A write a day can keep the writer (relatively) sane and commented:
    Wonderful prayer! Thank you so much for posting it!

  8. Ryan says:

    Just what I needed to read today! Thanks for sharing this!

  9. Caddo Veil says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post/prayer and blog–thank you so much, and God bless you abundantly. love, Caddo

  10. That is beautiful and a very good reminder. I need to go back and re-read that. Your spiritual frien who gave that to you is very wise. And that is a great saint to for it to be from. Thank you so much for sharing this, I really found something meaningful in it.

  11. Biltrix says:

    “People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honours; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving Thee; I may even lose Thy grace by sin; but my trust shall never leave me. I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me.”

    Each paragraph could be a short prayer in itself. I especially find meaning this part. St Claude seems to use hope and trust interchangeably — of course, they are synonyms, practically. The difference between the theological virtue of hope and trust in God has been explained to me, but you know what, they go hand in hand. How can you have hope without trust? Trust, for some reason, speaks to me more of the attitude of a boy and his Father, as when the Father is teaching his boy to swim. The boy does not just hope his Father won’t let him drown; he trusts him.

  12. Mr. V. says:

    That is a beautiful and powerful prayer. Thanks for posting it!

  13. Pingback: Musings: On Prayers… | Mirth and Motivation

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