Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we have seen that the virtue of hope is rooted in the Lord’s resurrection and its promise of our own. Christian hope is intensely personal yet also communitarian. Saint Paul frequently encourages the members of the early Church to sustain one another in hope, through mutual prayer and practical concern for those in need. This support must be given especially to the poor, the weak in faith, the suffering and those tempted to despair. Christian hope, necessarily linked to charity, needs to be “embodied” in a community of mutual support and loving concern. That body is the Church and its soul is the Holy Spirit. Our witness of hope in Christ’s promises is meant to expand and enrich the life of society as a whole. We know that, especially in times of darkness and difficulty, hope is no easy virtue. Yet the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts teaches us to trust in the Lord’s provident care and to strive constantly, in our communities, to be living signs of hope for the entire human family.