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What is hope?  


The following references in the Catechism of the Catholic Church can help us to understand the meaning of hope from the Catholic Church’s perspective.  


  • The glossary says that hope is “the theological virtue by which we desire and expect from God both eternal life and the grace we need to attain it."


  • Number 1817 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." 

    • ‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.’ [Hebrews 10:23].

    • ‘The Holy Spirit…he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.’ [Titus 3:6-7]


  • Number 2090 reminds us that when God reveals Himself and calls us, we cannot fully respond to the divine love by our own powers.  We must hope that God will give us the capacity to love God in return and to act in conformity with the commandments of charity.  

    • "Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God’s love and of incurring punishment”