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Article Three

Whether One can Hope for the Eternal Blessedness of Another

We proceed to the third article thus:

1. It seems that one can hope for the eternal blessedness of another. For the apostle says in Phil. 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform6161Migne: “will perfect it.” it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Now the perfection of that day will be eternal blessedness. One can therefore hope for the eternal blessedness of another.

2. Again, that for which we pray to God, we hope to obtain from him. We pray that God should bring others to eternal blessedness, in accordance with James 5:16: “pray for one another, that ye may be healed.”6262Migne: “that ye may be saved.” We can therefore hope for the eternal blessedness of others.

3. Again, hope and despair refer to the same thing. Now one can despair of the eternal blessedness of another, otherwise there would have been no point in Augustine’s saying that one should despair of no man while he lives (De Verb. Dom., Sermo 29771, cap. 13). One can therefore hope for eternal life for another.

On the other hand: Augustine says (Enchirid. 8): “hope is only of such things as pertain to him who is said to hope for them.”

I answer: there are two ways in which one can hope for something. One can hope for something absolutely, such hope being always for an arduous good which pertains to oneself. But one can also hope for something if something else is presupposed, and in this way one can hope for what pertains to another. To make this clear, we must observe that love and hope differ in this, that love denotes a union of the lover with the loved one, whereas hope denotes a movement or projection of one’s desire towards an arduous good. Now a union is between things which are distinct. Love can therefore be directly towards another person whom one unites to oneself in love, and whom one looks upon as oneself. A movement, on the other hand, is always towards a term which is its own, and which is related to that which moves. For this reason, hope is directly concerned with a good which is one’s own, not with a good which pertains to another. But if it is presupposed that one is united to another in love, one can then hope and desire something for the other as if for oneself. In this way one can hope for eternal life for another, in so far as one is united to him in love. It is by the same virtue of hope that one hopes on behalf of oneself and on behalf of another, just as it is by the same virtue of charity that one loves God, oneself, and one’s neighbour.

The answers to the objections are now obvious.


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