Virtues – Seven Habits of Champions – #7 – Hope

The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions
Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Ph.D.

(CCC. 1817-21)

1 Understanding
a) Spiritual, supernatural intuitive insight into revealed truth
b) Causes a person to penetrate appearances (sacraments, sym¬bols in Scripture, everyday occurrences) and see God beneath them
c) The perfect actuation of this gift causes a person to see all things according to the divine instinct of faith (e.g., de Caussade)

2) Knowledge
a) How to judge rightly created things in reference to God
b) Sensus fidei: tells us without study what to believe & reject

3) Hope is about Heaven:
a) We use the term hope loosely. Verb: wish something will good will happen in the future. We know it has to do with future.
b) Natural desire for happiness in the heart of every person. Elevates this desire to desire for ultimate happiness. Expectation of eternal beatitude.
c) The will desiring eternal union with God as our supreme good, “placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the HS.” (CCC 1817).
d) Desire for eternal happiness with, enjoyment of God as supreme good. “Holy ardor, sacred eagerness.”
i) Did I have zeal for heaven? Nope. Feared hell. Eternal Rest.
ii) Hope “grows in proportion to our knowledge”. Brother Lawrence, PPG, 111.
iii) Eager & confident anticipation of heaven & all the means to get there
iv) The forgotten virtue in this secular age
v) To work with one’s gaze set on heaven. Eternal perspective. Hope as anchor. Heb 6:19-20
vi) Secular: means this world only.
e) It is good to want to enjoy God! Not a sin!
i) Heresy of quietism
ii) Consolations here. Foretaste. Not attached to them.

4) Perfects fortitude:
a) Gives courage to all who must suffer for virtue
b) Hoping against hope, Abraham believed, and thus because the father of many nations.’ Persevered through sacrifice. Ro 4:18
c) Heaven as the new Promised Land. Problem with Zionism.
d) 1 Thes 5:8 Hope of salvation as a helmet

5) Perfected by gift of fear of the Lord (filial fear)
a) Sense of God’s grandeur & majesty: deep, humble adoration & reverence
b) Horror of sin, deep sorrow, extreme vigilance to avoid sin
c) Detachment from all created things

6) Perfected by the Gift of Wisdom
a) Divine delight enabling people to know something of the ineffable joy of eternal beatitude.
b) Knowledge of God Himself through experience (contemplation) of Him
c) By it a simple person can know more than a theologian
d) Leads to union with God through participation in Trinitarian life

7) Sins against Hope
a) Presumption: either hoping to save oneself without God’s help or hoping to obtain God’s forgiveness without conversion.”
i) Why we don’t believe in “Once Saved always saved.”
ii) Also belief in human freedom: God never gives his grace in a way that we can’t refuse it.
b) Despair: lack of hope for attaining salvation or help from God in attaining it. Unbelief in the forgiveness of sins
c) Avarice, Lust, Gluttony: to make other goods ultimate.
Sloth: failure to pursue our ultimate good out of apathy

8) How to Grow Hope
a) Exercise the muscle of desire. Fan the flame. Prayer. Scripture
b) Meditation on heaven

9) Spiritual Gift of Fortitude
a) Perfects natural fortitude by imparting invincible confidence that all obstacles will be overcome
b) Proceeds not from brute willpower, but from direct action and power of HS
c) Makes possible the heroic exercise of all other virtues

This outline appears in the Virtues & Christian Character, Christian Lifestyle andPrayer & Spirituality sections of The Crossroads Initiative Library.

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

From a colorful and varied background as a professor of theology, a father of five, business owner, and professional performer Marcellino D’Ambrosio (aka “Dr. Italy”) crafts talks, blog posts, books, and videos that are always fascinating, practical, and easy to understand.  He is a TV and radio personality, New York Times best-selling author, and speaker who has been leading people on a journey of discovery for over thirty years.  For complete bio and video, visit the Dr. Italy page.