In the online edition of La Croix International on July 10, Massimo Faggioli wrote that the growing global political loneliness of world Catholicism was evident in Pope Francis’s message last week to the G20 summit in Hamburg.

Perhaps Christians in Malta have never felt so ‘politically home­less’ as in these days in which our country makes an ideo­logical leap for secularisation.

Some are still nostalgic for the days of the triumphalist Church. Those who live their Christian values in life issues, fiscal morality and other matters are now in the minority. This, in a society where the majority profess being Catholic.

In this scenario, we need the grace of hope. We need hope for ourselves, but we also need to bring hope to our world. This is the breath of life we can give to our world, with love. We are called to be the soul of the world, to hold the world together, just as the first Christian community was considered in the Letter to Diognetus.

Living with hope will help us to live with love, in a culture of dialogue. We freely offer ourselves, making wise and courageous choices, unhindered by fear, pessimism and mistrust

A Christian’s hope is not a frivo­lous optimism, but it is grounded in our prayer-ful relationship with the Risen Lord. When we live in hope, we accept the new spirit from the work of God in our world.  Living with hope will help us to live with love, in a culture of dialogue. We freely offer ourselves, making wise and courageous choices, unhindered by fear, pessimism and mistrust.

Pope Francis, in Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel), warns us of common temptations: “Some people do not commit themselves to mission because they think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make the effort... This attitude is only a malicious excuse for remaining caught up in comfort, laziness, vague dissatisfaction and empty selfishness. It is a self-destructive attitude, for ‘man cannot live without hope: life would become meaningless and unbearable’”. (EG, 275)

Charles Péguy, in his poem The Portal of the Mystery of Hope, brings to life the dynamic between the three theological virtues of faith, hope and love. Péguy’s Hope is an innocent trusting child, carrying no heavy burdens, skipping along between her two elder sisters. Faith has always been considered foundational, Love has been termed by St Paul as the greatest, but Hope is also essential and a most precious gift. Even if at times it seems the most fragile, she is carefree and joyful, and she enables the other two to carry on walking; she drags them along.

Pope Francis reminds us: “Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty. But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. On razed land life breaks through, stubbornly yet invincibly. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads. Each day, in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history.

“Values always tend to reappear under new guises, and human beings have arisen time after time from situations that seemed doomed. Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelise are instruments of that power.” (EG, 276)

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