Retreatants at Holy Cross Abbey will recognize Fr. Edmund as the confessor available to them at the Abbey. Here are some of his reflections on the virtue of HOPE from a recent homily.
Jospeh Pieper in is book, On Hope, states that, “The virtue of hope is preeminently the virtue of the status viatoris-the pilgrim on the way. It is the proper virtue of the not yet.” In the virtue of hope, more than any other, “man understands and affirms that he is a creature, that he has been created by God.”
Hope, like love, is one of the very simple, primordial dispositions of the living person. In hope, man reaches “with restless heart”, with confidence and expectation, toward the bonum arduum futurum, the arduous not yet of fulfillment, whether natural or supernatural. Saint Paul, writing to the Church of Rome-and to us-says, “in hope we were saved” (Romans 8:24). This quote provides the title of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi, teaching that redemption is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to us in the sense that we are given hope, a trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we face our present experience: that present which, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads to a goal, provided we can be sure of this goal, and if the goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.
It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it in vain. In this, we further clarify an important element of the Christian concept of hope. Our hope is always essentially the hope for others and only thus can it truly be hope for me. As Christians we can never limit ourselves to asking: How can I save myself? We should also ask: What can I do in order that others may be saved? That for them the star of star of hope may also rise? Only then have I done my utmost that I might be saved.