The reason why we must hope in God is chiefly the fact that we belong to Him, as effect belongs to cause. God does nothing in vain, but always acts for a definite purpose…
A cause that operates intellectually not only confers on the effect, in the act of producing it, all that is required for the result intended, but also, when the product is finished, controls its use, which is the end of the object. Thus a smith, in addition to forging a knife, has the disposition of its cutting efficiency. Man is made by God somewhat as an article is made by an artificer. Something of this sort is said in Isaiah 64:8: “And now, O LORD, Thou art our Father and we are clay, and Thou art our Maker.”
Accordingly, just as an earthen vessel, if it were endowed with sense, might hope to be put to good use by the potter, so man ought to cherish the hope of being rightly provided for by God. Thus we are told in Jeremiah 18:6 “As clay is in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
LIGHT OF FAITH: THE COMPENDIUM OF THEOLOGY
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot…
God of hope, I belong to you. I was not made in vain. As clay in your gentle hands, form me into something beautiful and unique for you. Send me out for your holy purposes. Direct this earthen vessel of your making toward only that which fulfills your purpose in, through, and with me.
With gentle heart and hands, can you imbue others with hope? Today, monitor your thoughts, words, and gestures to avoid catering to the cultural cynicism so often found at the water cooler. Instead, be a “herald of hope” at the breakfast table, in the lunch line, or at the company dinner meeting.
Reproduced with permission from Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas, by Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P., published by Liguori, 2009.