I attended a mini-conference on October 27, 2108 sponsored by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Dr. Tim Gray, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Curtis Martin each contributed to the discussion of the theme, “Hope for Hard Times”. In light of the recent grand jury report on Clergy Abuse in the dioceses of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania is “ground zero” and the topic could not have been more timely.
Dr. Gray opened the discussion with a definition of terms. Hope is not optimism. Optimism anticipates a favorable outcome in the future. The theological virtue of hope is not directed to the future but is a present reality.
Through (Our Lord Jesus Christ) we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.