The Actuality of Hope

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Although this election did not go as many of us would have liked and did not go in favor of LIFE, I am still a person of great hope – hope in our country, our world, and most importantly our God. Now, as much as ever, it is important for us as Catholics, Americans and fellow humans to be united and work together.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is not an approbation of Barack Obama’s policies. But it is support of the man – as a fellow human and as our commander-in-chief. Here are some of my hopes:

I hope that those who voted for Barack Obama without really understanding what he stands for – or what they themselves stand for – will come to learn those things. And when Barack Obama does something with which they do not agree, I hope they will stand up against him as a true friend and good American.

I hope that all of those who voted for Barack Obama because they truly thought he was the best candidate…were right. He has some amazing abilities with great potential to do a lot of good for America.

I hope that the political hate in America will stop. Whether or not people agree with the president is one thing, but the outright hate that has been shown personally to George W. Bush during his presidency was very saddening for me. I hope that many conservatives will not “return the favor” to our new president with which they do not agree. It is the definition of American to disagree and protest our president. It is the definition of anti-American to hate him.

I hope that those that thought it necessary to go overseas and criticize their American family back home – especially during a time of war – have learned their lesson.  Let’s start to stick up for one another again even when we have internal disagreements.

I hope that Barack Obama truly does govern as our president and listens to the needs and desires of the people.  I hope that he governs with great prudence and justice for all.  And that he exercises restraint where necessary and courage in everything.

I hope that Barack Obama builds a strong legacy for African-Americans by representing all Americans and leaves a better country and world when he’s done.

I hope that all those in our country – no matter their race, circumstance or hardship – will recognize in Barack Obama’s accomplishment that great things are possible for any person in America.  And I hope they see this opportunity as unique in a world full of tyranny and oppression.

I hope that Americans remember what has been sacrificed to have what we have.  I hope we remember and appreciate those that have fought in past wars and are currently fighting now who made it possible for us to have the freedoms we have today.

I hope that Americans remember the principles that this country was built upon and what has made it so great.

I hope that Catholics will understand what they have in the Catholic Church – especially those in positions of leadership and power.  I hope that they come to understand more deeply the teachings of the Church and how those teachings can apply to our modern challenges.  I hope that Catholics will come to understand that their faith should transcend their political party. (Cartoon credit)

The truth is that many Catholics do not understand the basics of their faith.  That’s not Barack Obama’s fault.  We must take that upon ourselves to help fix it – and do so out of love.

I hope that truth will be sought by all people with a clear mind and an open heart.

I hope that all of us can work together – with thoughtful debate and deep conviction – to bring about the right change in our world.

And finally, I have hope in the Hope of all hopes. Even the daily readings today remind us that ulimately “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3).

Our real Hope is not based on dreams of this world, but on an eschatological reality.  It is a Hope that springs forth all other hopes.  A Hope that without which all other hopes would become hopeless.

“It was for us that he came down from heaven and for us that he ascended into heaven, after having been made like us in all things, humiliated unto death on a cross, and after having touched the abyss of the maximal distance from God.  It was precisely because of this that the Father was pleased with him and exalted him, returning to him the fullness of his glory, but now with our humanity.  God in man — man in God: Now this is not a theoretical truth but a real truth. For this reason, Christian hope, founded in Christ, is not an illusion but, as the Letter to the Hebrews says, ‘in him we have an anchor of our life,’ an anchor that penetrates heaven, where Christ has gone before us.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Let us go forward with this real Hope as our anchor in order to bring about the actuality of all hope that springs forth from it.

4 comments Add comment

Lauren November 7, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Well said, Fred. There’s nothing we can do about the past – we must simply learn from it, and move forward. Appreciate your optimism!

Jim B November 7, 2008 at 5:33 pm

I hope that people understand that change starts with each of us. We cannot depend on one person to solve all our problems. It would take a dictator to have the authority to do so. But even with authority, there is too much for one person.

The Bible calls upon all of us to help one another. Nations lack souls, but the people have souls. The best solution involves personal acts of charity, where we expect nothing in return. Governments that implement social programs pay people to do what we are all called to do, only they expect a paycheck. I hope people recognize the inefficiency of government and the benefits of personal acts of charity, and not just the monetary benefits.

I normally wouldn’t quote a Michael Jackson song, but the song gets it right when it says,
“If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change.”

Joe Henzler November 7, 2008 at 9:15 pm

“He who has hope lives differently.” -Benedict XVI

Sarah Carter November 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Thank you for this post! It is beautiful and if even half of what you hope for comes true, what a wonderful thing for our country that would be.

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