Hope is Born of Prayer and Purification

There is a reason hope is a supernatural virtue along with charity and faith.We live in a Fallen and broken world. Every single one of us will be hurt, suffer, and face death. There are dark days for each one of us in which hope keeps us on the path and points us to our eschatological home. It doesn’t even take dark days to struggle in hope. We each live our vocations day-in-and-day-out, much of it in perceived monotony. In fact, monotony can seem to rob us of hope more than darkness and suffering at certain times in our lives. We are given vocations in order to sanctify and purify us, and that includes in daily living whether it comes with joy, suffering, or routine. In order to persevere on the path to sainthood, it is essential for us to learn hope. Hope is born of prayer and a much needed purification process. We must all learn to let go of those things which limit the great destiny for which we were made.

Since hope is a supernatural virtue it is a gift from God. This means it must be fostered through Him and our relationship with Him. Hope is strengthened and deepened most readily through regular prayer. It is in prayer that God increases our capacity to be filled up by Him. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI turns to Saint Augustine as a guide in his encyclical, Spe Salvi:

Man was created for greatness—for God himself; he was created to be filled by God. But his heart is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched. “By delaying [his gift], God strengthens our desire; through desire he enlarges our soul, and by expanding it he increases its capacity [for receiving him]”.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, 33

We battle sin, selfishness, and our own desires. God must empty us, so that we may be filled with hope in Him. We must relinquish the hold we have on the things of this world. We must unclench our fists so that we can be open to Him.

Read the rest over at Catholic Exchange.

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