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John William Waterhouse (1849-1917), “Pandora” and “The Annunciation” (photo: Public Domain)

‘Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.’ (CCC 1817)

By Joseph Pearce, EWTN News, September 7, 2022

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope;
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears …

Joseph PearceOn first appearance it might seem that hope is the least important of the theological virtues.

Love, it seems, is far greater. St Paul tells us that love is the greatest of virtues, and that those who “have not love” are nothing but “a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”, and that those who “have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love” are “nothing.” Faith also seems to be greater than hope. Even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mighty mountains.

Hope, it seems, is destined to live in the shadow of its more illustrious brethren. It does so in humility, not merely in its willingness to be the servant of the servants of God but in its knowledge that “the last will be first, and the first last.” …

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