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Jesus is the Source of Our Hope and Our Life

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

(Following are excerpts of some of Fr. Hardon’s writings.)

Our Hope for the Next Millennium

It is good for us, once in a while, to renew our trust in God and strengthen our hope in His continued love for us.

We know our past and our tendency is to dwell on all that has gone wrong, on our sins and failings, on our defects and failures. But even this past is not as black or as dark as we are tempted to consider it.

Think of all that, with God’s help, we have been able to achieve, and beneath the achievement, all we have been able to be. We are alive and we trust, in the friendship of God. “We trust” is more important than it appears on the surface. Without trust, there can be no hope. We hope to obtain things, yes, but only because we trust Someone to give us those things. And those who have hope and trust also have the byproduct of confidence.

We have for so many years borne the heat of the day and struggled, sometimes against unequal odds, to remain firm in our faith.

Our lives are built on hope. A hopeless life is a despairing life. And how we know that it is just a matter of time when the person will die, and we now in our country, often by his own hands or with the help of another so-called compassionate person.

The trouble is that unless we are careful, we shall depend on the wrong people to keep their promises, and on the wrong objects to fulfill our hopes. There are no unbelievers in the world, literally none, except in mental institutions.

But we must learn whom to trust. It seems that some people will never learn. No one but God deserves to be trusted absolutely, and it is only absolute trust that can give us absolute confidence. Why? Because only God really knows the future, which faith tells us is in His hands. He does not wait for the future to happen. He makes it happen. Only He knows what we need and is best for us, far better than we know. Because it may be that the things that we want (this is a very safe statement) are not the things we need.

Let’s be very plain here. It is not hope alone that will give us peace, and how we want that peace of soul! Or trust alone that will give us security, which is confidence. It must be either hope and trust in God or we shall be infallibly unhappy.

In fact, I would almost give a simple formula for unhappiness; trust in creatures. They will never fail to disappoint you. Even the most promising of human beings, beginning, shall I mention the fact, with ourselves, are fickle, they are changeable, they are unstable. In a word, they are unpredictable. You just cannot bank; you cannot depend on people. Really, securely, confidently, not even, I repeat now, that one person who you would think would be the last one to disappoint us. And you would also think that by now having so often been disappointed we would have enough sense to have learned our lesson. It seems that some people will never learn.

Our very hopes can be our very dreams. God knows. Again, why is only confidence in God sure not to disappoint us? Because only God is really able to do what needs to be done and change what needs to be changed. And give us in the world of the future what we in the world need.

Copyright © 2003 Inter Mirifica

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