Skip to comments.Faith-Hope-Charity
Posted on 07/19/2010 9:24:04 AM PDT by Salvation
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
The Three Theological Virtues (1812-1813)
The three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity) allow man to share in God's nature. These virtues relate directly to God who directly infuses these three virtues into the soul where they make the believers capable of living as God's children and meriting eternal life.
By faith, we believe in God, in all that he has revealed, and in all that the Church proposes for our belief. Faith leads to a total committal. "The righteous shall live by faith" (Rom 1:17).
When faith is deprived of hope and love, it does not unite the believer to Christ nor make him a living member of the body. "Faith apart from works is dead" (Jas 2:26).
Christ's disciple must spread the faith to others, even if this brings about persecution. Jesus said, "Whoever acknowledge me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father" and "Whoever denies me before men, I will deny before my Father" (Mt 10:43-33).
By hope, we seek heaven, place our trust in Christ's promises, and rely on the Holy Spirit. We must "hold fast to our confession of hope" (Heb 10:23). Through the Spirit, we have "become heirs in hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:6-7).
Into everyone's heart, God has placed a search for happiness. Hope responds to this desire. It sustains man, frees him from discouragement, preserves him from selfishness, and leads to happiness on earth and in heaven.
Israel's hope was modeled upon Abraham who trusted in God's promise even when asked to sacrifice Isaac. "Hoping against hope, he believed, and thus became the father of many nations" (Rom 4:18).
Jesus unfolded Christian hope in the beatitudes, proclaiming that those who suffer trials on earth are blessed in heaven. This hope "does not disappoint" (Rom 5:5) because Jesus has gone ahead "as a forerunner on our behalf" (Heb 6:19-20). Therefore, we can hope to gain heaven and to persevere "to the end" (Mt 10:22). The Church prays for "all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4) and she awaits union with Christ, the Bridegroom. "Hope, O my soul, hope. Watch carefully. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved" (St. Teresa of Avila).
By charity, we love God for his own sake and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.
Jesus loved us "to the end" (Jn 13:1). He told his disciples to "love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15:9, 12). Charity keeps the commandments of God and of Christ, "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love" (Jn 15:9-10).
Christ demands that we love everyone, especially our enemies, our neighbors and the poor. St. Paul says that love is patient and kind, believing, helping, and enduring all things. Love is not jealous, boastful, arrogant, rude, irritable, or resentful.
Without charity, "I am nothing" and "I gain nothing." "So faith, hope, and charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity" (1 Cor 13:1-13).
Charity binds all virtues "together in perfect harmony (Col 3:14) and gives them order. Charity purifies and raises human love to the perfection of God's love.
When charity animates his moral life, the Christian is free from servile fear and lives as a son responding to God who "first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). "If we obey out of love for him who commands, we are in the position of his children" (St. Augustine).
Charity is benevolent, disinterested, and generous, bringing forth friendship and communion. "Love is the goal. Once we reach it, we shall find rest"(St. Augustine).
Do we have these virtues?
I think I do; I need them more. This is the way forward and its the way home.
Absolutely the way to heaven!
Holy Spirit, be our guide!
Remembering our recent discussion.
Hope is not faith and faith is not hope, even though they are closely related. To put it in stark terms, when I hear the message delivered to me through the mediation of many witnesses, that Christ was incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit, suffered, died and rose again for the sake of our salvation, I have a choice to believe the message or not believe it. If I believe it, I have faith. Else, I don’t.
But this does not say anything about my own destination. Demons, too, believed something quite close to the above. But their reaction was hostility and fear. Hope is how I see the Gospel apply to myself. If I see myself on the road to eventual salvation, I have hope. If I see myself lost to sin, I have despair, which is a vice. If I see myself guaranteed everlasting life regardless of my acts, I have presumption, the other vice. Hope is in the middle. It is the reasonable expectation of salvation based on the willingness to do my part in attaining it, and on the trust that God will not give me a test I cannot pass.
“Hope is in the middle. It is the reasonable expectation of salvation based on the willingness to do my part in attaining it, and on the trust that God will not give me a test I cannot pass.”
Hope, based on that statement is not based on what Christ did at the cross, but on what you do. That hope is in you, not in God.
**These virtues relate directly to God who directly infuses these three virtues into the soul where they make the believers capable of living as God’s children and meriting eternal life.**
I know I’m jumping into the middle of your conversation, but unless I receive the gift of hope (or faith) (or charity) FROM God, these three virtues can not be manifested in my own actions.
Am I wrong here?
All three, faith hope and charity, are virtues: they are indeed something you and I do.
What sense is it to hope for what Christ did on the cross? He either did it or not; by faith, you know He did. It is not something one can hope for; it is an event that occurred in the past.
Words mean things.
Of course you are not wrong. All virtues come from God by grace.