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The Christian's Hope

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A downloadable audio and pdf version of St Josemaria’s homily “The Christian's Hope”, published in the book Friends of God.

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Giotto, <i>L' Ascensione di Gesù </i>
Giotto, L' Ascensione di Gesù
In my case, and I wish the same to happen to you, the certainty I derive from feeling — from knowing — that I am a son of God fills me with real hope which, being a supernatural virtue, adapts to our nature when it is infused in us, and so is also a very human virtue. I am happy because I am certain we will attain Heaven if we remain faithful to the end; I rejoice in the thought of the bliss that will be ours, quoniam bonus, because my God is good and his mercy infinite. This conviction spurs me on to grasp that only those things that bear the imprint of God can display the indelible sign of eternity and have lasting value. Therefore, far from separating me from the things of this earth, hope draws me closer to these realities in a new way, a Christian way, which seeks to discover in everything the relation between our fallen nature and God, our Creator and Redeemer.

Perhaps some of you are wondering, 'What should a Christian hope for?' After all, the world has many good things to offer that attract our hearts, which crave happiness and anxiously run in search of love. Besides we want to sow peace and joy at every turn. We are not content to achieve prosperity just for ourselves. We want to make everyone around us happy as well.

Some people, alas, whose aims are worthy but limited and their ideals only perishable and fleeting, forget that Christians have to aspire to the highest peaks of all, to the infinite. Our aim is the very Love of God, to enjoy that Love fully, with a joy that never ends. We have seen in so many ways that things here below have to come to an end for all of us, when this world ends; and even sooner, for each individual, when he dies, for we cannot take wealth and prestige with us to the grave. That is why, buoyed up by hope, we raise our hearts to God himself and have learned to pray, in te Domine speravi, non confundar in aeternum, I have placed my hope in you, O Lord: may your hand guide me now and at every moment, forever and ever.

Read the homily here.