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The Theological Virtue of Hope

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The Theological Virtue of Hope essay
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The theological virtue of hope which is a godly gift bestowed by God through which one trusts God will grant eternal life and the means of obtaining it providing one cooperates. Hope is composed of desire and expectation together with a recognition of the difficulty to be overcome in achieving eternal life. While hope is no longer necessary for those who have achieved salvation, and no longer possible for those who have rejected the means of salvation, it remains necessary for those of us who are still working out our salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

God does not arbitrarily remove the gift of hope from our souls, but we, through our own actions, may destroy that gift. If we lose faith, then we no longer have the grounds for hope (a belief in “the omnipotence of God, his goodness, and his fidelity to what he promised” ). Likewise, if we continue to believe in God, but come to doubt His goodness and/or fidelity, then we have fallen into the sin of despair, which is the opposite of hope. If we do not repent of despair, then we reject hope, and through our own action destroy the possibility of salvation. There are two kinds of grace, sanctifying and actual. Sanctifying grace stays in the soul. It’s what makes the soul holy; it gives the soul supernatural life. More properly, it is supernatural life. Actual grace, by contrast, is a supernatural push or encouragement. It’s transient. It doesn’t live in the soul, but acts on the soul from the outside, so to speak. It’s a supernatural kick in the pants. It gets the will and intellect moving so we can seek out and keep sanctifying grace.

Imagine yourself transported instantaneously to the bottom of the ocean. What’s the very first thing you’ll do? That’s right: die. You’d die because you aren’t equipped to live underwater. You don’t have the right breathing apparatus. If you want to live in the deep blue sea, you need equipment you aren’t provided with naturally; you need something that will elevate you above your nature, something super- (that is, “above”) natural, such as oxygen tanks. It’s much the same with your soul. In its natural state, it isn’t fit for heaven. It doesn’t have the right equipment, and if you die with your soul in its natural state, heaven won’t be for you. What you need to live there is supernatural life, not just natural life. That supernatural life is called sanctifying grace. The reason you need sanctifying grace to be able to live in heaven is because you will be in perfect and absolute union with God, the source of all life. If sanctifying grace dwells in your soul when you die, then you have the equipment you need, and you can live in heaven.

There are seven sacraments and they are: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. Baptism is the first of seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church that erases original sin. It removes original sin while infusing it with sanctifying grace. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is when we go to a priest and confess our sins. The Eucharist is when we can receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. When someone has the first three sacraments, they can be confirmed, which is a formal acceptance into the church along with special anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Sacrament of Marriage is the union of a man and a woman to grow in God’s grace it also provides special grace to a couple. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is the process by which men are ordained to clergy. It includes 3 levels, bishop, priest, and deacon . The anointing of the sick is for someone who is sick, old age, mental illness, someone approaching an operation, or someone who feels they’d benefit from it it, this includes Last Rites, but people can receive an anointing when they are sick.

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