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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Spe Salvi Six

Hope grows out of the realization of one's own sin and God's love for each one of us.

Hope must be based on reality-the reality of sin and redemption.

Here are words from the encyclical again, and more later. My comments in blue, as usual.

Certainly we cannot “build” the Kingdom of God by our own efforts—what we build will always be the kingdom of man with all the limitations proper to our human nature. The Kingdom of God is a gift, and precisely because of this, it is great and beautiful, and constitutes the response to our hope. And we cannot—to use the classical expression—”merit” 

Those who think they are building the Kingdom of God have not been purified of egotism. Only God builds through a person, if that person is pure in heart.  Self-knowledge, as the great saints tell us, is key.

Heaven through our works. Heaven is always more than we could merit, just as being loved is never something “merited”, but always a gift. However, even when we are fully aware that Heaven far exceeds what we can merit, it will always be true that our behaviour is not indifferent before God and therefore is not indifferent for the unfolding of history. 

The right use of creation grows out of prudence, temperance, justice and courage. 

Also, the goal of eternal life cannot be set aside or lost.

We can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter: we can open ourselves to truth, to love, to what is good. This is what the saints did, those who, as “God's fellow workers”, contributed to the world's salvation (cf. 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Th 3:2). We can free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that could destroy the present and the future. We can uncover the sources of creation and keep them unsullied, and in this way we can make a right use of creation, which comes to us as a gift, according to its intrinsic requirements and ultimate purpose. This makes sense even if outwardly we achieve nothing or seem powerless in the face of overwhelming hostile forces. So on the one hand, our actions engender hope for us and for others; but at the same time, it is the great hope based upon God's promises that gives us courage and directs our action in good times and bad.

The very proud and the very self-deceived think that they can live without God. Our hope is in God alone, working through the Church, through the saints.  If our actions are good and true, these "engender" hope in ourselves and others.

to be continued...