Mr. Ian McRae, sixth grade homeroom teacher, spoke to the whole school on Monday about the virtue of hope. He used Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 encyclical letter to the Church, Spe Salvi, to explain different kinds of hope, and where we can best place our hope.
The title Spe Salvi comes from the phrase “spe salvi facti sumus” – “in hope we are saved” – from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. Many people have placed their hope for salvation in things like science. Although science is an essential part of understanding the world around us and ourselves, it will not save us. Pope Benedict said, “Francis Bacon and those who followed in the intellectual current of modernity that he inspired were wrong to believe that man would be redeemed through science. Such an expectation asks too much of science; this kind of hope is deceptive.”
The encyclical continues, “It is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love. This applies even in terms of this present world. When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of ‘redemption’ which gives a new meaning to his life. But soon he will also realize that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life. It is a love that remains fragile. It can be destroyed by death.” Human love can give us hope, but it cannot completely satisfy our deepest longings, as it is not eternal.
We experience greater and lesser hopes in our lives, and all have important contributions, but only God can be our greatest hope, surpassing all others and satisfying us completely. Pope Benedict said, “This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole of reality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain. The fact that it comes to us as a gift is actually part of hope. God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety.”
Pictured above is 4th grade students giving their Friday Recitation.
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