Image via WikipediaSumma Theologia, I-II, 40, 4 and II-II, 17, 1 and II-II, 17 2 were our topics in Chapter, today. My "cloistered brothers," with the help of Fr.Nic and Dr. Holly Coolman, from Providence College, discussed Hope and Despair. These subjects are treated a little differently by Thomas Aquinas, than the current definitions of hope and despair.
Despair is not really just the opposite of Hope. It's more of seeing something as not a good thing. It's more despair, even depression, and sin.
Hope, according to AQ is wanting to attain something. This something has to be attainable. I can't hope to be young; that's impossible. Hope is also wanting something good. In this way, Hope is a virtue.
It was in discussing Article 2. "Whether eternal happiness is the proper object of hope?", that I had my epiphany. You see I never understood 1 Corinthians 13: 13. Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is Love. This isn't true, if you are talking spiritually. Spiritually would be agape love. It is necessary to have Faith to have agape love. So doesn't it make sense, that Faith would be the greater virtue?
Faith to AQ means "see." Ah! I see it therefore I believe. I see God; therefore I believe. I see what you are saying; therefore I believe. Hope is wishing for an attainable good. Hope would be wishing to go to heaven.
The epiphany comes in heaven. In heaven, I see (faith) God. I have attained the good (hope.) What's left? God Himself (Who is Love.)
The greatest virtue is Love when you are talking about "presence."