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Hope, Patient Endurance, and Perseverance…
“Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12). These three virtues: hope, patient endurance, and perseverance in prayer are essential to our Christian faith lives. They are the basis of our ability to love God and one another. This verse comes in the 12th chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans, which is a perfect “mini-catechism,” teaching us the things that are necessary for us to really live out our Christian faith in our daily lives. Among those necessary virtues are those listed in our verse for today. Hope is the proper response to God’s promises. This can be seen in Abraham, who even though he was old had the confidence to believe that God would fulfill his promises. “Against all hope, Abraham in hope, believed” (Romans 4:18). Generally speaking, the Scriptures are a means of engendering our hope. The Holy Spirit is the source of our hope and his power causes hope to abound (Romans 15:13). Hope is ultimately a gift from God through grace (2 Thessalonians 2:16). It is hope that leads to joy (Romans 12:12) and to faith and love (Colossians 1:4-5). We can endure the spiritual and social trials that come our way, because of our hope in God. The virtue of patient endurance gives us the ability to wait. It is a virtue that is associated with both moral and spiritual maturity. It is this virtue that give us the strength to delay gratification in the things of the world, and the moral courage to endure even great suffering for the sake of the higher goods that God calls us to in this life. It is a virtue that gives our love for others stamina. With it we can be patient with the weaknesses and failings of others, more…