“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 the way they are.” ~ St. Augustine
St. Paul wrote to the Church in Rome, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Rom 5:5) That passage is often one used at the time of funerals because it speaks to the mourners about the ultimate hope of resurrection.
However, Paul was speaking about a hope that was more than a dream of the future. Paul wrote to his communities about hope in order that they might do something, that they might live the faith.
If you are significantly overweight and hope that some day you might be thinner but never go on a diet or begin exercising, you will remain where you are, if not much worse. If you cannot drive a car and hope one day to get a driver’s license but never take lessons, you will never have your license. If you want to be a basketball star but never spend a moment practicing, you will never play on a team.
Hope is not something that is neutral. Hope is something that is active. For St. Augustine, hope was the driving force for change.
St. Paul was right. Hope does not disappoint unless we fail to use the gifts that have been poured into our lives by the Holy Spirit. If we use those gifts, hope will spur us onward. It will give us all that we need to model the faith for others. If we live as people of hope, we will do all that we can to change the world. If we become a people of pure hope, we will instill hope in others.
FAITH ACTION: Are you actively working on fulfilling your hopes? If not, make a plan to start doing something about it.