meditating on hope. As I've mentioned before, I need to find something to focus on if I want to think without distraction...I cannot just "empty my mind." I like to use a candle for this purpose, as looking into a candle flame helps keep me centered and mindful.
As I thought about hope, a phrase came to me repeatedly, the "perfect brightness of hope" mentioned in scripture. I also thought about hope as a virtue, large enough to be worthy of combining with faith and love (or charity as the KJV states). It's something significant. We use the word 'hope' in a flip way so often, and yet the true meaning of hope is anything but flippant.
Hope is the belief, anticipation, or expectation of something...but not just of anything. Hope is the expectation of something good. In other words, I think that hope is inherently positive, and might even be a fair synonym for "optimism." It is the expectation that goodness will come to us, the belief that people are good, the trust that God will fulfill his promises. If faith is the belief in things which are not seen, then I think hope (the next virtue in the sequence) is the expectation of goodness which is not yet realized.
I have always been a fairly optimistic person. It is interesting to consider this trait in light of being not just a happy habit, but an actual virtue.
What do you think about hope?