This week we have been going over the virtues mercy and forgiveness that we find in scripture and tradition. The next step of this journey is to go over the virtue of Hope!
In the Compendium we read that, “Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire and await from God eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit to merit it and to persevere to the end of our earthly life” (387). As I said in yesterday's post, we can't have the Glory and Hope of Heaven without the cross. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 paul tells us, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” Paul is talking about heaven here! When we have true contrition for our sins, when we repent from our old ways, and when we ask for forgiveness God gives us his mercy and blessings! He promises us eternal paradise when we die with him on the cross. We see this again in Luke 23: 42-43 when we read the dialogue between Christ and one of the criminals hanging with him on the cross. “Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' He replied to him, 'Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.'”
If there's one thing that I look forward to most it is being in heaven with Jesus one day. I want it more than anything! It is what life is all about. The point of our life is to point to HIM, and to BE with Him. Is getting to heaven your number one goal??? If not, then what is? In the Ten Commandments the Lord tells us that we should have no other gods before Him. If you want something more than heaven, then that is your god and it will keep you from the gift of Heaven.Work can be a god. Men can be a god. Television can be a god. Facebook can be a god. Money, ect....Anything can be a god if we put it before our ULTIMATE DESTINY which is union with Christ.. In Psalm 16 we read, “Worthless are all the false gods of the land.” When we choose to make god our number one He rewards us with eternal life. This gives me so much hope and I pray you feel the same! Later on in the psalm it reads, “You will show me the path of life, abounding JOY IN YOUR PRESENCE, the delights at your right hand forever.”
We have this hope because of the passion of Christ on the cross. “The Church venerates his [Jesus'] cross as it sings: “Hail, O Cross, our only hope” (CCC 617). I've seen some catholic and protestant churches where there is no crucifix. Why do people want to take Christ off the cross??? Think about it and get back to me. St. Rose of Lima also writes, “Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” Without the incomprehensible gift of mercy that God our Father has given us through Jesus Christ his son, we would not have the ability to hope for anything after this earthly life! We would be left in despair. So may your Hope be in Christ ALWAYS. I challenge you to wake up every morning and give him thanks for his severe merciful sacrifice on the cross. Thank him for the gift of being able to be with him today and forever in Heaven!! I hope to see you there! Until then, see you in the Eucharist my Beautiful Sister.
You're in my prayers; may you keep me in yours.