Certainly, in our many different sufferings and trials we always need the lesser and greater hopes too — a kind visit, the healing of internal and external wounds, a favourable resolution of a crisis, and so on.

In our lesser trials these kinds of hope may even be sufficient. But in truly great trials, where I must make a definitive decision to place the truth before my own welfare, career and possessions, I need the certitude of that true, great Hope.

For this we need witnesses — martyrs — who have given themselves totally, so as to show us the way — day after day. We need them if we are to prefer goodness to comfort, even in the little choices we face each day — knowing that this is how we live life to the full.

The capacity to suffer for the sake of the Truth is the measure of humanity.

Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the Hope that we bear within us and build upon.

The saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because they were brimming with great Hope.


Edited and Adapted from Spe Salvi No. 39.