Our beloved Pope Emeritus died in December 2022, so it seems fitting to honor him in this month’s message. In his work titled, "Spe Salvi" or "Saved in Hope," Pope Benedict declares, “The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.”
I recently came across a beautiful statement on a dear friend’s Instagram story. She wrote, “One Who Has Hope Lives Differently.” To be honest, I was procrastinating starting this blog post and decided to look for some “inspiration” on the app. Oh how the Lord provides. These six words stopped me in my tracks (or scrolling rather) and led me on a search to find out where this quote came from.
As it turns out, this line was taken from a writing by the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Our beloved Pope Emeritus died in December 2022, so it seems fitting to honor him in this month’s message. In his work titled, "Spe Salvi" or "Saved in Hope," Pope Benedict declares, “The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.”
In some ways I think it’s hard to put into words what living differently actually looks like. I believe you know it when you see it though. With that being said, we can look to the example of Pope Benedict himself as a man who lived differently and chose hope in the face of great sorrow and tragedy. During his youth he witnessed the horrific presence of the Nazi regime in his hometown and the influence it had on his family and local parish. His faith and love of the Lord fueled his desire to remain hopeful and continue in his pursuit of truth and goodness.
Saint Paul is another example of a man who lived differently. While under intense persecution he wrote the following words to the Thessalonians,
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “Hope keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude” Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 1997, para. 1818. Hope is an act of the will and it is a choice for all those who grieve. One who lives with hope believes that death does not have the final word. One who has hope lives with the expectation of eternity and the joy of seeing their loved ones again.
My friend who shared these words is certainly no stranger to grief as she mourns multiple losses in her own life. Through her example I can see that she lives life differently because of her hope. The clients that I have the honor to journey with also inspire me with the ways they choose trust over fear and faith over despair. It’s my desire that you can also call to mind someone you know who inspires you with their hope. Let’s say a prayer of thanksgiving for them now and ask for a blessing of endurance on their journey.
Information on Pope Benedict XVI’s life and the "Spe Salvi" full text can be found on the Vatican’s website, http://www.vatican.va.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed.). (1997). Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Rachel is a Bereavement Clinician at Cornerstone of Hope Cleveland.