Monday, 17 October 2011

"There are two things that kill the soul...."

A meditation for Monday:

"There are two kinds of hopelessness. One is despair; the other, praesumptio. Praesumptio is a perverse anticipation of the fulfilment of hope. Despair is also an anticipation - a perverse anticipation of the nonfulfilment of hope: "To despair is to descend into hell."
By describing both despair and presumption as "anticipation", we disclose the fact that both of them destroy the pilgrim character of human existence in the status viatoris. For they are both opposed  to man's true becoming. Against all reality, they transform the "not yet" of hope into either the "not" or the "already" of fulfilment. In despair as in presumption, that which is genuinely human - which alone is able to preserve the easy flow of hope - is paralyzed and frozen. Both forms of hopelessness are, in the last analysis, unnatural and deadly. There are two things that kill the soul," Saint Augustine tells us, "despair and false hope." And Ambrose says, "He seems not to be human at all who does not hope in God."
from Josef Pieper: Faith, Hope, Love                             

1 comment:

  1. If despair is bad and hope is bad then what is good?

    I lost hope a long time ago.


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