Hope is the indispensable dynamic force of faith and love. Because we are pilgrims, because we do not see God and do not yet share his love definitively, our faith and our love need to be permeated with hope. We know we cannot attain final fulfillment on earth. We know equally well how decisive our life on earth is in regard to final fulfillment.  It is through hope that we press on to that fulfillment.  We press on because hope offers a vision beyond the inevitable difficulties of the human condition, beyond human suffering, even death.

Christian hoping does not mean simply believing something is possible.  It is conviction about what is sure.  Christian hoping is the gift of certainty that what God promises he will give.  St. Paul speaks of   “a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which has been given us.”  (Rom. 5: 5)

Hope is a hard virtue.  There are times when our hopes seem to be in vain, hoping for change in ourselves, or in our circumstances,.  Often we may feel we have only enough spiritual bread in our basket for one day and be fearful about tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come.

But we don’t’ live in those tomorrows.  We have no guarantee there will even be a tomorrow for us.  In any case, we should be preoccupied neither with the past which is history nor the future which is mystery.   There is a difference in living for the future and living in the future.  The former is done in the present.  The latter alienates us from our real life.

Among Christian symbols found in the catacombs in Rome, there is one depicting an anchor with two small fish attached to the points of the anchor.  What is symbolized is the fact that we are the small fish attached to the anchor of our hope, Jesus Christ.
Our faith invites us to accept a number of consoling truths.  For example: that our final state is life, not death; that forgiveness erases sin, that hope triumphs over despair; that love is stronger than hate, that God is love.  Empirical evidence affords little support for these propositions.  What is needed is spiritual insight.  We need faith to see through the darkness of evil and suffering in the world.  We need hope as an antidote for the temptation to despair.  The reason for our hope is the belief that God loves us, that God wills what is best for us, that God is love.