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Does "Hope" have a question mark?

In an RCIA class recently, we were posed with this very specific yet over-arching question from a candidate:

..."what is with this concept of "hope" written about by the Catholic Church, don't you [we] "know" when we are Saved?"

This came from a candidate who states they have no doubt they are Saved and that this knowledge, an internal confidence, was sufficient to eliminate the need for "hope" that salvation is assured for them.  I asked if they understood the meaning of the word "hope" for them to always carry a question mark...that is...hope has no affirmation.  Yes, that was the essence of the inquiry. 

While I can agree from a human experience position that hope implies a measure of reaching from a negative to a positive, I don't however agree with the likes of Deepak Chopra who defines hope as defining a posture of despair.  To answer the candidate directly about the Church's use of hope:The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as "the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1817).

"By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to his justice—for the Lord is faithful to his promises—and to his mercy" (CCC 2091).

Hope lies in a medium between presumption and despair.

I don't have any problem with my RCIA candidates perception of hope as unnecessary when ones internal confidence of salvation does not waver.  It is because we are fallible, fragile and vulnerable beings, susceptible to a variety of influences that can knock us off our beliefs, that a hope of all that salvation offers, (as promised) is an appropriate intellectual and spiritual Faith tool for us to use for our own benefit.  We are all very different in experiencing Salvation.  This particular candidate may have overwhelming personal experience, so powerful that hope is unnecessary for their Faith to be sustained.  Others are not so fortunate or gifted so hope becomes a valid conscious effort to remain steady in times of doubt, concern and trials.

Hope also supports the Biblical assertion that we are Saved by that which is outside ourselves, Christs grace and nothing else.  I find this trajectory when I use the word hope to amplify that I am reliant on the power that is not of this world, and that reliance glorifies God as above...which is purity of Worship.

Hope is an interesting and important concept indeed.  Why can't we have both, knowledge and hope?  According to Scripture, my finite intelligence cannot comprehend the vast amount of love promised me, no matter how much I presume my own Salvation, yet I hope those promised graces will be mine on the other side.

In Advent I ponder this much more.

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