Learn by Topic: Hope
Man’s Desperate Need for Salvation
At Eden, Man chose to abuse his freedom, distrusting God and seeking to “be like God” (cf. Gen 3:5). “By refusing God’s plan of love, [Man] deceived himself and become a slave to Sin…. human history attests the wretchedness and oppression born of the human heart in consequence of the abuse of freedom” (CCC 1739). Original Sin (CCC 396-409) led Man into: “material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death…the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation” (CCC 2448). St. Gregory of Nyssa teaches: “Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator” (CCC 457).
The Epidemic of False Hope
Since Eden, Man has always grasped for salvation. Adam and Eve put their hope in the false promises of Satan (Gen 3). With the Tower of Babel, humans sought salvation (Gen 11:1-9). The Israelites turned from God and sought salvation from the false Canaanite gods (Num 25:1-3; Jud 2:11). At the time of Christ, Caesar Augustus and Tiberius promoted a “Gospel” of salvation with Caesar worshiped as “Divine Savior.” In recent times, false messiahs in the form of people (Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Hitler, Stalin, Mao) and ideologies (Communism, Naziism, Scientism, Progressivism, etc.) dominate the cultural and political realms, exploiting the inherent need for salvation embedded in the human heart. Despite the illusion of human progress, hundreds of millions of people were killed in the last century; mass killings continue to occur today in the form of wars and abortion. In false hope, there is no hope.
Jesus Christ – Divine Savior
Only Jesus Christ, the Divine Savior, has the power and will to save Man. Jesus: (more…)
Monsignor Charles Pope offers another of his outstanding posts. This one is on finding comfort in God. An excerpt:
“If we can remember that God is tender, tried and true, triumphant and trustworthy, we can be well assured that greater serenity will be ours. This serenity is crucial for us who would fight the battles necessary today. Serenity will preserve us from wild flaying actions, and imprudent and hasty actions. Serenity helps us to be well rested, even in the storm, as was Jesus in the boat on the storm-tossed sea. Having rebuked the storm he turns to his disciples as asks, “Why were you afraid?””
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always here, always available and always willing to give us the peace and joy He promises. Trust Him and ask Him to help you! He will!
With all the goings on in the world, it is sometimes easy to be discouraged. Don’t be. Jesus Christ is Lord!
Anthony Lilles offers a meditation on how to welcome this new year with praise:
What is the reason for this hope? The loving presence of Christ who stands with us and whose word never passes away – with Him we have reason to stand firm, to love without counting the cost. He, the Fullness of Life Himself, is the very center, the heart of human history and of each one’s personal history. At every occasion, no matter how humble or hidden, an encounter with Christ is awaiting us on both the most personal and the most public dimensions of our existence. Faith seeks this encounter and in a single moment learns to surrender to everything the Lord lavishes upon it, and this over and over again in the most unexpected ways.
His unrepeatable presence is what makes this Year a new gift from God, and those who embrace Him and faithfully cleave to Him in the new and unique ways our personal and social histories make possible, such believers will know again an ancient joy that can never grow old. For them, the New Year is neither an occasion for insobriety or anxiety or to lose heart for any reason. For these faithful souls, the New Year is a gift, an occasion of thanksgiving, a new opportunity to lift up our hearts, to cry out in recognition in the midst of both sorrow and joy: such is the praise offered by a soul that seeks the progress of eternity in each moment of time.