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When Jesus told his disciples that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, some replied, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Even with deep faith, it is difficult sometimes not to doubt. In his kindness, God throughout history has given us miracles to strengthen our faith.
What is the Christian virtue of hope? Certainly it is not the doomed secular attempt to achieve human perfection through technological or political progress. But neither is it the "eternal security" promised by some Protestants. Authentic hope trusts the promises of God while recognizing our free will's ability to reject those promises.
If Protestants can ask their friends here on earth to pray for them, then certainly we can ask our friends in heaven to pray for us also. Much of the misunderstanding can be clarified by looking at the history of the words pray and worship and by using the more precise Latin terms "latria" and "dulia".
It is not easy to be clear sighted when it comes to matters of the heart, and in that sense love is blind. At the same time, love alone can penetrate the surface and see the beauty of another person created by God, but the love must be authentic, grounded in genuine knowledge of oneself and the beloved.
In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II demonstrates that the culture of death arises in part from a faulty understanding of human freedom. The media often glamorizes violence, contraception, abortion, and euthanasia as manifestations of freedom, hope, and responsibility. It's as if our entire culture were shouting with Cain, "Am I my brother's keeper?"