Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:1-2, 5-8)
5:1–5 The justified are endowed with theological virtues. By faith, they live in peace with God and have access to his grace; in hope, they long for the glory of God that awaits them; and through love, they show that the charity of the Spirit dwells in their hearts (CCC 1813). Equipped in this way, believers can become more like Christ through endurance and suffering (CCC 618). See note on 1 Cor 13:13.
5:8 God shows his love: The dying of Christ shows us the depths of God’s unconditional love for the world (1 Jn 3:16). This is all the more remarkable since the world, being “ungodly” (5:6) and “enemies” (5:10), did not deserve it (CCC 603–4).
In this moving passage God helps us see the divine interlacing of the three theological virtues which form the backing upon which the true life of every Christian man or woman has to be woven. Faith, hope and charity act in us in turn, causing us to grow in the life of grace. Thus, faith leads us to know and be sure of the things we hope for (cf. Heb 11:1); hope ensures that we shall attain them, and enlivens our love of God; charity, for its part, gives us energy to practice the other two theological virtues. The definitive outcome of this growth in love, faith and hope is the everlasting peace that is of the essence of eternal life.
A person who lives by faith, hope and charity realizes that suffering is not something meaningless but rather is designed by God for our perfecting. St Teresa of Avila said that “Perfection consists in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we realize he wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might. If our love is perfect, it has this quality of leading us to forget our own pleasure in order to please him whom we love. And that is indeed what happens” (Book of Foundations,).
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.