Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION XVII.: OF HOPE. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1)
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QUESTION XVII.: OF HOPE. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 1 (Summa Theologica - Prima Secundae, Secunda Secundae Pt.1) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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Article I.—Is hope a virtue?
R. According to the Philosopher, “The virtue of any given being is that which makes the subject good, and renders his work good.” Wherever therefore we find any good human act, there must be some corresponding human virtue. But the measure of human acts is twofold: one proximate and homogeneous, namely reason; the other supreme and transcendent, namely God; and therefore every human act that attains to reason or to God Himself is good. But the act of hope, of which we now speak, attains to God. For the object of hope is good in the future, difficult, but possible to be had. Now a thing is possible to us in two ways, in one way through ourselves, in another way through others. Inasmuch then as we hope for a thing as possible to us through the divine assistance, our hope attains to God Himself on whose aid it rests. And therefore hope is clearly a virtue, since it makes a man’s act good, and attains to the true rule.
§ 1. The hope of which we now speak is not a passion, but a habit of the mind.
Article II.—Is the proper object of hope eternal happiness?
R. The hope of which we now speak attains to God, resting upon His aid to gain the good thing hoped for. But an effect must be proportionate to its cause; and therefore the good that we properly and principally should hope for from God is infinite good, which is in proportion to the power of God aiding us. Such a good is life everlasting, which consists in the enjoyment of God Himself. For we must not hope anything of Him less than He is Himself; since His goodness, whereby He imparts good things to His creature, is not less than His essence.
§ 2. Whatever other good things there are, we ought not to ask them of God except in order to everlasting happiness.
Article V.—Is hope a theological virtue?
R. Hope has the character of a virtue from its attaining to the supreme rule of human acts, attaining it both as that rule is the first efficient cause, inasmuch as it rests on the aid thereof, and also as that rule is the last final cause, inasmuch as it looks for happiness in the enjoyment of the same. Thus evidently God is the principal object of hope, considered as a virtue. Since therefore the essence of a theological virtue consists in having God for its object, it is plain that hope is a theological virtue.
§ 2. No one can rely too much on the divine assistance.
Article VI.—Is hope a distinct virtue from the other theological virtues?
R. A virtue is said to be theological from having God for the object to which it clings. Now we may cling to another either for his own sake or because by him we come to something else. Charity then makes a man cling to God for His own sake; but faith and hope make a man cling to God as to a principle and source whence other things accrue to us. For of God there accrues to us both the knowledge of truth and the gaining of perfect goodness. Faith then makes a man cling to God inasmuch as He is the principle whence we know the truth: for we believe those things to be true which are told us by God; while hope makes us cling to God, as He is in our regard the principle and source of perfect goodness, inasmuch as by hope we rely on the divine assistance to obtain eternal happiness.1
§ 3. Hope makes us tend to God as to a final good to be obtained, and as to an efficacious aid to succour us: but charity properly makes man tend to God, uniting his affection to God, so that man may no longer live for himself, but for God.
[1 ]It comes to this, that faith seeks truth of God, and hope happiness in God; while charity seeks God Himself. (Trl.)