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Pope: We often sin against hope

Pope Francis during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's square at the Vatican on May 08, 2024.

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/08/24

Pope Francis explains that hope goes along with another virtue, patience. The world has great need of this virtue so we should "go ahead and ask" for it.

We are often sinning against the virtue of hope, Pope Francis warned, saying that the world needs hope, just as it needs patience.

The Holy Father offered these reflections on May 8 as he continued his general audience series on virtues and vices.

He noted sins against hope:

bad nostalgia
thinking that past happiness is gone forever
despondency over our sins
“when the autumn in us cancels out the spring”
when “God’s love ceases to be an eternal fire”
and “we do not have the courage to make decisions that commit us for a lifetime”

The world today has “great need” of this virtue, Pope Francis insisted. “The world needs hope, just as it needs patience, a virtue that walks in close contact with hope.”

Patient men are weavers of goodness. They stubbornly desire peace, and even if some of them are hasty and would like everything, and straight away, patience is capable of waiting. Even when around us many have succumbed to disillusionment, those who are inspired by hope and are patient are able to get through the darkest of nights. Hope and patience go together.

Go ahead and ask

So the Pope invited the faithful to “go ahead and ask for the grace to have hope, hope with patience.”

Always look towards that definitive encounter; always look to see that the Lord is always near us, that death will never, never be victorious. Let us go ahead and ask the Lord to give us this great virtue of hope, accompanied by patience.

The Holy Father cited both the teaching of St. Paul and Benedict XVI, who wrote an encyclical on hope, Spe Salvi.

Noting Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, Francis summarized:

It is as if he said: If you believe in the resurrection of Christ, then you know with certainty that no defeat and no death is forever. But if you do not believe in the resurrection of Christ, then everything becomes hollow, even the preaching of the Apostles.

And he referenced Benedict XVI’s assertion that “Only when the future is certain as a positive reality does it become possible to live the present as well.”

Hope doesn’t come from us, but from God, Francis added: “Hope is a theological virtue: it does not emanate from us, it is not an obstinacy we want to convince ourselves of, but it is a gift that comes directly from God.”

HopePope FrancisVirtue
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