The Audacity of Hope

One of the presidential candidates speaks about hope quite often.  He is correct when he describes hoping as an audacious act.  It does indeed take courage to look above the circumstances in which we are mired, believe in the possibility of something better, and then strive to make that belief become a reality.  He is wrong when he implies that real and lasting hope can be found through the selection of a government.  And the depth of his error is almost immeasurable.

Hope is a virtue.  It is a rung on the ladder of three virtues that leads us to God.  As part of that ladder, it reminds us that we are the beloved children of an eternal and almighty Father and offers us the strength to become His ambassadors to the world.

The reality is that each and every one of us exists as a beloved child at every single moment of our existence.  That reality makes every life, from its conception until its natural death, precious to a loving and caring parent.  It eliminates the possibility of unwanted children since every person is, from the first moment of his existence to the last, cherished by the parent who gave him life — even if the humans surrounding that person do not “want” him right then.  It recognizes that every human life has a meaning and a purpose.

It has been said that hope is the virtue for the memory.  Hope helps us to recognize the hundreds of ways that the Father Who loves us proves that love every day.  And as we come to recognize the never-ending signs of that love, we are transformed by it.

Those who dare to hope base their lives on the fact that they are beloved children.  They use their connection to that eternal and unwavering love to face the challenges of their lives with grace and dignity.  They inspire others to follow their example.  Those who hope consistently become those who love — and their lives become beacons attracting others to the recognition that each is beloved.

Government does not love.  It does not cherish.  It does not have children.  It is not the source of life.

Those who place their hope in government will always wind up disappointed.  The state is an imperfect structure, created and maintained by imperfect people.  Its connection to the governed is built on power, not love.  And the state’s desire to increase its power is insatiable.

The candidate who is equating hope and government is telling us a lie.  And when an individual believes that lie and tries to find the meaning and purpose of his life from the state, he finds only emptiness.  

We cannot control the rhetoric of every candidate. 

But we can challenge ourselves to look for the daily examples of our Father’s love in our own lives.  We can take the time every day to acknowledge those daily gifts, and to share their existence with others.  We can let hope blossom into love so those around us can begin to see themselves as beloved children of that same Father.

Throughout history there have been those who have sought to replace the source of hope in the minds and hearts of their contemporaries.  In each case, those who knew the truth rose to give witness to it.  Today, we are the generation called to be those witnesses.  Let us make sure that history will record that we did not remain silently in our chairs.

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  • Theophilus

    Thank you for pointing out some more of the Audacity of Mr. Obama. I have not read his book ‘The Audacity of Hope’, but if its message is that government is our main source of hope, then it’s wrong and we’ve fallen a lot further than we should have. According to what I’ve read, An Obama Administration would do all it could to allow the murder of our unborn children. Is that to be our source of hope?

    Or do we believe Mother Teresa instead, who said “The child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things – to love and to be loved…This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future.”

  • Reilly

    The obvious subject of this excellent piece does, indeed, have hope! He hopes in himself; he hopes to be president so that he can become (hopefully) “first citizen” of the world, and undoubtably he most likely hopes to go to eternity and supplant Aristotle’s “prime mover” (aka -Yahweh, the LORD, God, et al).

    So let’s HOPE that he realizes not his immediate designs, and pray that he runs into the need for humility – so that he might learn to HOPE for MERCY.

    Meanwhile, vote for the other guy – even though he is an imperfect human!

  • Diana

    Obama’s upbringing alone gives one pause to ever consider voting for such a man as he to become President of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. The things he believes as self-evident truths include abortion rights being a constitutional right and that government is the end-all, be-all hope for most Americans. Scary stuff when you scratch just the surface of what he’s really saying – ever so eloquently.

  • c-kingsley

    If I thought people would understand the sarcasm in these I’d put them on my car as bumper stickers. (From )

    Hope. Change. And All That Other BS. Vote Obama.

    Don’t Like My Pastor? Shut Up, Racist. Still Don’t Like Him? I Guess I Don’t Either. Vote Obama.

    Watch the Oceans Recede. Watch the World Make Peace. And Watch As I Saw This Woman In Half! Vote Obama.

    (I hope you’re not mad at me…)

  • nativity



    1. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only. However, many Christian communions present themselves to men as the true inheritors of Jesus Christ; all indeed profess to be followers of the Lord but differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ Himself were divided.(1) Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.