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On Hope

by Pope Francis

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.

The book you are now holding in your hands is the sixth book Loyola Press, the publishing company, has published by Pope Francis. Loyola Press is a Jesuit publisher and Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

More than the Pope being a Jesuit, Pope Francis is the head of the Holy Roman Catholic Church; he is the Vicar of Christ, the spiritual leader of more than 1.2 billion people on the planet, the head of a faith community that is two thousand years old and still going strong—despite what you might see and hear in the secular media. Pope Francis is the most recognizable person in the world as I’m writing this; he is certainly the most respected religious leader in the world. When the world’s most respected religious leader in the world. When the world’s most respected religious leader chooses to teach us about something, as Pope Francis has with mercy, it’s worthy of our attention.

In this work, Pope Francis has chosen another timely message, this time hope, and specifically Christian hope. In his opening chapter, Pope Francis writes: “In these times that appear dark, in which we sometimes fell disoriented by the evil and violence that surrounds us, by the distress of so many of our brothers and sisters, we need hope.”

This work is adapted from a series of general audiences Pope Francis presented in Rome from December 2016 through March 2017. Pope Francis offers us a vision of hope that is decidedly different from the prevailing secular view: “Let us keep this in mind: our own assurance will not save us; the only certainty that will save us is that of hope in God.”

This small book, then, presents Pope Francis’s message of hope to all of us who find ourselves living in difficult situations and difficult times. The hope Pope Francis speaks of is found in the Scriptures, in the pastoral and teaching stories he shares from his own life, in the traditions and teachings of the Church, and always in the loving and transforming heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

May these words from hope Francis touch your heart, inspire your soul, and offer you the hope that sustains: “The foundation of Christian hope is what we can be most faithful and certain of—the love that God himself has for each of us.”

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