The virtue of the month for Challenge and Conquest in April is hope. Hope is something hard to describe but once you get it we can understand why it changes the life of a Christian. The definition of hope is described as the desire of something -together with the expectation of obtaining it. So basically you can hope for something and know you will get it. For a Christian, that is heaven and being with God. Hope is the foundation for our confidence in God and in ourselves. As the omnipotence of God is infinite, nothing is impossible to Him; as His wisdom is infinite, nothing is difficult to Him; as His goodness is immeasurable, He has an infinite desire for our well-being. Now, should this not be enough to make us repose all our confidence in Him? Number 1817 and 1818 of the Catechism says “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. The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men’s activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.”
The resurrection of Christ and all of the passages after his crucifixion are so full of hope because nothing can be a greater sign of hope than Jesus rising from the dead. Think of what was going through the heads of the apostles during those days after Easter. Jesus died. They saw him breath is last and then all of a sudden his tomb is empty and he shows up to talk to them. It was a sign of his power and proved to them that he was God. Have you ever heard the say, “ I wont get my hopes up..” In this case the last thing the apostles thought was going to happen was Jesus would rise from the dead. In our case we know that we should get our hopes up about heaven and God’s infinite power and love.
The Prayer for Hope can be found on the back of the Challenge holy card this month. “Heavenly Father, I am your humble servant, I come before you today in need of hope.There are times when I fell helpless, there are times when I feel weak & I pray for hope. I need hope for a better future. I need hope for a better life. I need hope for love and kindness. Some say that the sky is at it’s darkest just before the light. I pray that this is true, for all seems dark. I need your light, Lord, in every way. I pray to be filled with your light from head to toe. To bask in your glory.To know that all is right in the world, as you have planned, and as you want it to be. Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and glory. Amen ”
The Youcat number of the month is all about the hope of Easter. #108 What changed in the world as a result of the Resurrection? Because death is now no longer the end of everything, joy and hope came into the world. Now that death “no longer has dominion” (Rom 6:9) over Jesus, it has no more power over us, either, who belong to Jesus