Faith - belief in God, and in the truth of His revelation as well as obedience to Him (cf. Rom1:5:16:26)
Hope - expectation of and desire of receiving; refraining from despair and capability of not giving up.
Charity - selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness such as helping one's neighbors.
They occur in the Bible at 1 Corinthians 13:13:
“And now these three remain, faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love."
The theological virtues are so named as they are infused by divine grace not obtained by human effort.
To recognize that one needs fortification in these divine virtues is to recognize and acknowledge their opposites:
- Lack of faith may give place to incredulity (as in atheism and agnosticism), blasphemy or apostasy.
- Lack of hope may give place to despair or cynicism.
- Lack of love may give place to hatred, wrath or indifference.
We could all use a refresher course in theological virtues and pray that we are gifted with them, receiving them freely from our great Lord. This may take removing obstacles such as sin that is blocking our reception; charting a course, such as preparing for a good confession, disciplining ourselves further by morning, noon and night prayers. Praying WITH those we love, our families, especially the strong uniting prayer of the rosary, for healing and guidance and peace within ourselves and families.
We can not give what we don’t have. We all need regenerated in our Christian beliefs and practices and fully infused with the theological virtues. The old saying my mother repeated A LOT was “charity begins at home.” It’s really something to meditate on. It’s what Mother Teresa was really telling us when she said things like:
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action.”
And when Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family ...
Mother Teresa was a living example of the three theological virtues on earth. If you want to hear more from her, just google her name and any combination of Love, Faith, Hope, Family, Work, Prayer……
+May you be blessed with the theological virtues in abundance and recognize they are yours for the asking, through Christ Our Lord, Amen+