One of the three theological virtues infused into the soul together with sanctifying grace and having God as its primary object. It makes us desire eternal life or the possession of God and gives us the confidence of receiving the grace necessary to arrive at this possession. The grounds of our hope are: the omnipotence of God, or the fact that He can give us eternal life and the means to attain it; His goodness, or the fact that He wills to give us eternal life and the means to attain it; and His fidelity to His promises, or the fact that He has pledged Himself to give us eternal life and the means thereto. Since the virtue of hope is based on God’s power, goodness, and fidelity to His promises, it must be sure and unshakable in the sense that God will certainly offer us the means necessary for the attainment of eternal life and that if we employ our free-will to cooperate with the grace of God we shall certainly be saved. Hence, we alone can make hope void by our wilful refusal to work with the proffered grace of God. Hope is necessary to salvation. The virtue of hope infused into the soul at Baptism is sufficient for those who have not attained the use of reason; in all others an act of hope is required, such at least as is included in living a Christian life. The sins against hope are: despair or wilful diffidence about obtaining heaven and the means necessary thereto, since this implies mistrust of God’s power or goodness or fidelity to His promises; and presumption or the unreasonable confidence of obtaining eternal salvation without taking the necessary means.

MLA Citation

  • “hope”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 April 2013. Web. 13 June 2021. <>