Even though hope is essential to human and Christian life, very little has been written about it in comparison to faith and love. Faith sees what already is, while hope sees what is yet to come. Charity loves what already is, but hope puts its trust in what is not yet here.
Living in very dark times, hope is a most important, necessary and rare virtue.
For Christians, for vowed Religious, “hope” is linked to the person of Jesus Christ. Consequently we would do well to give greater attention to the precise nature of Christian hope. What exactly is it? This day will offer a clear understanding of the nature of hope to deepen our capacity to give an account of the hope that is within us (1Peter 3: 15), especially in the face of resistance and indifference.
Rooted in an understanding of the kenosis of God in Christ as the reason for our hope, the presentation will be interspersed with poetic reflections that help express the nature of hope.
Michael Downey, PhD
With a Master of Arts in special education as well as in theology, Dr. Michael Downey is the first layperson to receive the Ph.D. in theology from The Catholic University of America. His abiding theological concern for those who are wounded and marginalized has brought him to serve the church most in need through lectures, conferences and retreats in different parts of the world. Editor of the award-winning New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, he is founding North American editor of Spirituality, an international journal of the Christian spiritual life. Author or editor of more than twenty books, as well as journal articles, essays, and book chapters numbering in the dozens, he is the recipient of three honorary doctorates. Two of his better known books are Altogether Gift: A Trinitarian Spirituality (2000) and The Heart of Hope (2009). A member of the editorial board of Cistercian Studies Quarterly, he works extensively with enclosed contemplative communities, and is active in retreat work. Dr. Downey has a particular interest in Trinitarian theology and a theology of hope, both of which are expressed in his Living the Justice of the Triune God [with the late David N. Power] (2012). On March 31, 2005 Pope John Paul II awarded him the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.