Archbishop urges Christian hope for a better Argentina

An Argentinean archbishop invited the people of his country to cultivate an authentic Christian hope in order to face the daily trials of life and work for a better country.

Christian hope can strengthen the people of Argentina to confront "the concrete difficulties of temporal life with a different frame of mind, a different spirit," said Archbishop Hector Aguer of La Plata.

During a Dec. 29 program entitled "Keys to a Better World," the archbishop noted that the resolutions made by many people each New Year are rooted in hope, "which can be understood in a very human, natural and immediate sense." 

"But it is good to remember that in a strictly Christian sense, hope is a theological virtue," he said. "That means it is a gift from God that is related to grace, in the same way as faith and love."

The theological virtue of hope is "a grace that God communicates to us and that has eternal life as its goal," he explained.

Archbishop Aguer observed that according to St. Augustine, the object of our hope is God.

"Yes, Christian hope is a gift from God, a grace that in some way puts us on God's level so that we might desire eternal life and entrust ourselves to it," he said.

Every Argentinean should contribute to building a better country, the archbishop explained, with those who bear greater responsibilities striving to excel at their work and "to overcome the interests of private individuals, groups or certain sectors in order to serve the interests of the nation."

In the case of Catholics, "(t)he Christian grace of hope helps us and encourages us to take on everything that corresponds to our vocation, to our responsibility, to our role in society, so that things will be better," he said.

Archbishop Aguer stressed that prayer is the means for understanding the grace of hope. 

"Whatever is the legitimate object of hope should become the object of our prayer," he said, encouraging prayer for our own improvement, "so that, obedient to the will of God, we can be better."

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