AS the virtue of faith is belief in God, the virtue of hope is confidence in God. This is why when man truly reposes his belief in God and thereby anchors his confidence in Him, how he could lose—really!? It is the other way around when someone places all his trust and ultimate confidence on other just like him—humans who are ignorant of so many things, who are disabled for so many agenda, who are overwhelmed by so many imponderable things and unpredictable realities in their day to day life. Hope in God is not only reasonable but also necessary from man’s daily sun-up to sun-down, from his short youth to his usually long old age—until there is no more sunrise to wake up to, no more years to count, no more beginnings to make but only an ultimate ending to face.
In other words, hope is the theological virtue through which people place their trust in God, desire the reality of eternal life and aspire to reach His heavenly Kingdom. Thus it is that instead of relying on their own but human strength, men, women and children filled with hope, ultimately place their future and destiny in the hands of God. No. The virtue of hope does not free man from using his mind and will, his ingenuity and strength with all the other attributes precisely assigned to him by God for him to work for his own good and welfare. A man having and living the virtue of hope, stays in cognizance and appreciation of God who remains in front and behind him as he faces the ups and downs of life.
At this juncture, it is both inspiring and consoling to recall the song/prose “Footprints in the Sand”. It is said that a man—with faith and hope—was walking with God, or was it God Who was walking with him by the seashore? After some time of walking together, whenever the man looked back, he saw two pairs of footprints in the sand. Until sometime later when he saw but a pair of footprints. This made him asked God: “Lord, I thought You would walk with me and accompany me specially so when I feel down and lost. Why it is then that when I was at the lowest moments of my life, I saw but one set of footprints in the sand? The Lord calmly answered: Son, it was in those moments that I carried you!”
There is saying that “Hope springs eternal!” This is sound and solid truth: When one’s hope is precisely reposed on God whose love and care, providence and guidance are precisely eternal. There is nothing more disturbing and painful than when someone loses hope in everybody and everything. The right name of such a loss is called “despair”. Despair makes someone hopeless do unthinkable and even irrational things. The foremost liability of someone in despair? Committing suicide!
20 April 2011