The Feature Article, begun in the inaugural issue two years ago, deals with the state of the Church. We continue probing the question that has perplexed the Magisterium and the laity for the past 30 years as the liberal element has left its mark, effecting changes that have seemingly watered down the "Roman Catholic" traditions. Yet, God in His Infinite Wisdom, has allowed this to happen for a specific purpose. He has been preparing us in a special way by sending His very Own Blessed Mother to guide us and remind us of our roots. Through perseverance, prayer and loyalty to Holy Mother Church headed by the Holy Father John Paul II and adhered to by the faithful who will not compromise, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the conservative side. In the ninety-first installment of this on-going feature series, we focus on the second of the Theological Virtues - Hope. It is the virtue in which we firmly place all trust in God, Who is Infinite and faithful to all He has promised. It is that hope and trust in His Mercy that He will bestow on us eternal salvation and the means to achieve it. Hope is vital, it is necessary for our eternal happiness. We must remember, however, that we cannot just hope but that we must have faith and follow through with love to complete the virtues and fulfill God's Holy Will. These Theological Virtues are meant to get us into the habitual mode of doing good and being good through the graces bestowed on us. These important repetitive actions help us all to grow closer to God and are vital to all souls. After all the opposite of virtue is vice. We continue to alert the reader to what is happening and sound the call to arms, to enlist in Mary's army and take up the battle cry. God said it, we believe it, that settles it! Too many Catholics are going their own way with little regard to what their spiritual shepherd - the Vicar of Christ says. Sin is whitewashed. If we're not careful there will be a tremendous backwash and who among us wants to get caught in the vortex of that swirling whirlpool of Justice? This series is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event - the second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace.
The Forty-First Clarion:
THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUE OF HOPE
Christ's Mercy is our HOPE and anchor to keep us from drifting in a sinking world
"He that puts his trust in Me shall inherit the land, and shall possess My holy mountain."
Isaiah 57: 13
The psalmist and prophet David says it so many times throughout his psalms, "For You are my Hope, O Lord." and "Lord, Your Mercy is my hope." HOPE! It is another word for trust. It is another word for good expectations. Webster's defines the word as "1. Desire with expectation of obtaining what is desired, or belief that it is obtainable" and "2. Trust; reliance." But, we hope, the definition is more than that. And it is! One of our favorite ejaculations is "Jesus, I trust in You." If that is not expressing hope in His Divine Mercy, then nothing is. And through His infinite Mercy He extends hope to all like a solid anchor to keep us afloat and stabilized in a sea of confusion and and the threatening waves of disillusionment. There is the age-old saying, "Hope springs eternal." The anchor is the symbol for hope, hope that springs eternal, because God is eternal and God is Hope. God promised to give man eternal life, and the means to obtain it. In this promise is our hope. We can never forget that Hope is necessary for our salvation. Therefore, our hope must be firmly founded in God.
In every one of our Blessed Motherís Messages, whether from Medjugorje or other purported apparition sites around the world from visionaries and locutionists alike, her works are meant to strengthen not only our faith, but to give us HOPE!
Hope is not merely a passive human emotion, and certainly, the Hope, which Our Lady speaks of, does not pertain to ourhuman, mortal life. As her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, taught when He was on earth and left us the gospels, and the True Church, with the Dogmas, Doctrines and Traditions, this supernatural virtue of HOPE, transcends the human mind, will and heart, for it must ignore the world and look upward in order to be of value to any who call upon the name of the Lord in the time of tribulation.
We have entered this time of great trial. If you donít believe it, look at our world. Every nation and particularly our own country and its leadership are at great odds with God, the Creator and Author of all life. Are we not, therefore, in a time of great suffering, persecution, and in danger of being swept along the wide and easy path to perdition? Only those who have opened their hearts to the graces of the Holy Spirit, and who see with the eyes of their soul, can visually perceive the clarity of this. They realize now, as never before, that we must have hope.
The Mother of God is now calling us ever more urgently to have faith as strong as an anchor, and that anchor, she says, is made of wood - the wood of the Cross of her Divine Son. In this Cross, the symbol of our redemption is love represented in all its perfection.
As we travel the way of Calvary during the upcoming Holy Season of Lent one month away, we all need to look at the Cross and consider how our hope measures up to that of Our Lord in all of His agony, and to His Most Blessed Mother, the Co-Redemptrix of the world, who also suffered agonies of the heart in order to correspond perfectly to the Divine Will. These agones will only be known in eternity. Hope is intricately inseparable from the Divine Will. Hope is that facet of the diamond of our soul which allows us, against all human reasoning, rationalizing and intellectualizing to hold fast to that which we be. Without hope being alive and burning brightly within us, our anchor of faith will quickly be snapped in half by the evil one in this time of universal spiritual darkness, apostasy, heresy, and schism within the Roman Catholic Church.
"Our help is in the name of the Lord," Sacred Scripture says in Psalms 124:8, and that word "help" means also hope. We who are still in our earthly exile, upon the journey of coming back to the Father, must hold fast to the Hope given us in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the face of the rage of all the demons of hell unleashed upon Jersulaem at the appointed time of Our Lordís Passion and Death, it was the Blessed Mother alone who held fast to Hope, who lifted up her heard and HOPED in God to bring to pass all that the Scripture contained for the redemption of all mankind from Adam and Eve, to the last person who will be upon the face of the earth at God's appointed time. And we, too, must share in that same hope, lifting up our hearts and souls to the realm of God in the face of a pagan world, a godless world which constantly barrages us with its secular, demonic messages of materialism, lust, perversion and the mounting sins of men against men.
Hope allows us to go beyond our weak human nature and hold fast to Godís Almighty Hand, seeing Him as a Father who desires only what will assist us to come home to Him for all eternity.
Next Installment: Part Two The vertical beam of the Cross represents Hope and on the horizontal beam Love surrendered Himself for us.