"True hope is not hoping for something I desire or hoping that it will come to pass. True hope is hoping in the reality of you, my God, present in the fabric of life. Hope involves the recognition that you are in the inscape of all that exists — even those aspects of reality (times, places, people, and events) that break our hearts. When this awareness leads me to embrace life as it is, my actions give witness to your presence that breathes in me, and my life becomes characterized by the qualities of positiveness, aliveness, confidence, and the willingness to take on new and challenging tasks.

"When I am open to the hope that informs me, I experience the energy and vitality of Life. There is within us a sustaining force that cannot be defeated, one that by nature lives even when I despair. To give way to the feeling of hopelessness is to be unfaithful to the inner hope that is your aliveness in me. My resistance to the inclination to hopelessness is itself a sign of the persistent nature of hope. It is to 'bounce back,' to rejuvenate, to grow, and to become better, stronger, more compassionate, and wise through life's ups and downs. We can never lose hope, never shake its unrelenting presence, but we can lose touch with its power to recreate us.

"The feeling of hope that I sometimes experience, though less often now than in my youth, is not true hope any more than infatuation is true love, though both are glimmers of the deeper reality whence they emerge. Hope is a virtue, not a feeling. It is a strength (vitus). Living a hopeful life, like living a loving life, is a matter of the will. It is a decision that must be made over and over again as we face situations that seem to be beyond our ability to endure. In fact, there is much that is beyond us, but there is nothing that we cannot find the strength to cope with when we draw upon your hopeful presence within.”