Hard Sayings: Hope ain't a cheap happy meal

Warning: Tough talk below--exit now iffin' youse flaccid-hearted.

Hope ain't jes' a happy wish. Happy-wish hope is "please Mr. President, gimme a car."
Thas' too juvenile to comment further.

But make note--that kind of "hope" sells big in pollyticks, an some folks is shocked to their crocs to find such shallow "hope" comes with a chain around yore neck, a mighty high price for a bowl of porridge. Next time ya hear some log-likkin' mush mouth talk about "hope," ya best turn yore back to it.

True hope is one of the theological virtues: Faith, Hope, Love.

The theological virtues build on a natural human awareness of excellence. This is why we can discuss hope whether or not youse a believer in anything theological or not.

"Virtue" ain't prissy. It's muscular. Virtue comes from Latin "virtus" meanin' strong, same root as virile. Heh--ain't that an old idea--that there is nuthin' virile about loss of virtue. Loss of virtue is loss true manliness, an' loss of inner strength.

Virtue means habitual and firm desire to do right. To do what is good. Virtue as a habit helps a body to perform good acts an' to give the best of hisself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.

"Chooses it in concrete actions" means it ain't some lofty ideal fer you to demand of others to make up fer yore own lack, no no....it is an action on YORE own part to DO WELL, DO GOOD.

Now here's the hard sayin' about Hope: True Hope ain't had cheaply.

It comes to a person who has pursued self-mastery, a person who governs his or her passions according to the good for the body and soul, thus is goodly disposed toward neighbor as well.

If yore idea of hope is to find a legal cudgel to steal yore neighbors goods or opportunities, then yore hope does nothin' to strenghten you, rather it debases you.

Thas' a synthetic hope, a poison for suckin' down some of yore nighbors good. False hope breeds bad attitudes an' bad acts--that is, it weakens the body and mind. It makes ya unfit to contain any true hope --for ya know yore own inner rot is growin', takin' over what remains of healthy dispostions. Keep suckin' on false hope an' soon enough youse so weak ya cain't do nuthin' but whine for wine to put ya outa yore misery.

Hope is a by-product of good character development--an' that comes from education, trainin' and the practice of self-control.

For Christians Hope has a higher meaning still: The expectation of eternal life in the presence of God who created us to share eternity with Him, if we choose to choose the good. (God doan knock ya' over and demand ya' do thangs His way. He invites, you decide.)

Fortitude is one of the four cardinal virtues. It's the filet under the fois gras an' truffle.

Fortitude is the virtue that gives a person they own firm attitude of hope and goodness during troublesome times. Looky, it ain't all that hard to be "good" when thangs is goin' jes' swell--right?

Where fortitude comes in is doin' good, bein' good an' expectin good of others when thangs is troubled and wearying. THAT's the tough soul that displays virtus, a virility/ virtue that inspires others to behave their best too. Iffin' yore virtue ain't tested, how ya gonna keep it sharp and ready fer battle?

Fortitude is a commitment-- despite the odds-- in the pursuit of the good. It is the essence of resolve to do well and resist temptations to go flaccid. The virtue of fortitude is how the brave face fear, even fear of death, an' face trials or persecutions.

It's what stood martyrs up in the face of inhuman horrors. Fortitude in a Christian wells up from a deep resovoir of grace such that he can sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. The Christian with hope and fortitude is not ultimately undone by any sufferings in this world because Christ also suffered, yet overcame all for our sakes, "Be good cheer, I have overcome the world."



moi said...

This is a keeper – my fave post of yours so far. If anything, this is what our so-called political and intellectual leaders should be talking about. But there's no one to guide us philosophically today, no one to delineate right from wrong – just a bunch of thugs instructing us in a power grab.

Boxer said...

Can you be these things, without being Christian? That is the question on my mind today. I would not categorized myself as such, however I was baptized a Catholic and certainly embrace most of what the Bible teaches. I just don't like labels. When reading this, I removed "Christian" and wondered what the world would be like if this could be taught in school, to everyone, rather than just Sunday School.

I agree with Moi - this is one to keep.

moi said...

Boxer, that is a question I often ask, too. In other words, why does religion have the monopoly on morality? Can one be a just and righteous person without being religious? I think so many people today, when they hear the words right and wrong, good and bad, automatically assume that those things can only be judged and defined in the context of some kind of religion when, in fact, it is by virtue of the fact that we are human that we must be moral.

Boxer said...

Moi (Hi Aunty, we're 'jacking your porch today!) That's so perfectly said. Thanks.

Aunty Belle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aunty Belle said...

hey y'all! I'se delighted to se ya' back here solving the world's problems! Hope ya made yorself at home and found the lemonade (Or stronger)? We got red pepper hummus in the icebox --it's good on black pepper crackers.

Thas' an interestin' point ya raised Boxer -Babe--can ya be moral wif'out bein' Christians (or Jewish, with its foundational teachings of One God, Ten Commandments etc.)

An Moi's observation that our very human-ness means we's made to be moral--it is an essence of bein' a human to be noble.

Plato and Aristotle wax lyrical on these ideas--all pre Christian history. But they note how thangs devolve quickly in favor of sophistry (so as to manipulate others)or power of force.

Moi, ya hit the bull's eye that folks get they backs up iffin' ya say "right" or "wrong" cause they assume it is based on a religious standard.

Many think to be "free" of religion means to be "free"... or free of superstition, or free to adopt "science" as their ultimate arbiter of how thangs are.

But science is neutral, it is how we use it that is moral or immoral, and science can discover facts of reality, but it doan have anythang to say about how to apply it to yore fella man.

Reckon I'e real basic, but at the git-go there's the question of God (not religion). It is this:

Does ya believe that Man is made by God and made in HIS image? or does ya hold that man arrived via felicitous cosmic chemistry so that there is no universal claim on his moral nature --that what is "moral" to this view of man is: whatever the individual determines it to be?

If Man doan have no higher meaning, then there's nuthin' wrong wif a full court press to clinical cannibalism. Why cain't I USE yore body parts or yore daughter to meet mah needs?

If the only thang that holds us in check is fear that the other fellow will turn on us, then we's jes' a hair's breadth from MIGHT MAKES RIGHT. Local report last night on the news--in this failing economy, the one thang sellin' like hotcakes is guns.

Mah fear is when ya throw out God, youse left with a cunning, predatory animal: Man *not* made in the image of God.

Boxer said...

I used to think Man arrived by a combination of electrical charges and chemical reactions.

As I get older, I don't feel the same way. In my world, I'm clearly searching for new answers and I appreciate your response.

More food for thought.

(and the hummus is fabulous!)

K9 said...

wow. this is great. i should have this tatooed to my eyelids. its a great battlecry for the spirit and a swift kick in the butt as well. agree with moi: these kinds of discussions need to be drug out into the light of day in a national "dialogue" (grrherhrehrha) but instead the big G is saying "its hard. you cant do it. its not your fault you dont have a 64" flat screen high definition television"

hardening up is what is coming for all of us. i hope to receive it with a good attitude.

moi said...

I had a discussion with a lib friend the other evening about the bailout and the budget. She accused me of always being so black and white in my thinking, that in this world, there were shades of grey. I shook my head. Grey is for cashmere sweaters and wishy-washy is for trying to decide between Louboutins versus Manolos. Sometimes, you just need to take a deep breath, pronounce something right or wrong, and stick to it.

Boxer said...

you know what I say?

If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.


CHEF TROLL said...

But what of Pandora's box that unleashed all types of evil to bedevil the lives of humans? Why was Hope (elpis) among those evils and why did it remain in the jar?

Aunty Belle said...

Thanky y'all--I'se mighty happy to have a few souls willin' to hep me unravel the tough stuff.

Right all y'all is to note that the national version of hope ain't hopeful but like Moi notes, good luck talkin' straight. Everybody wants gray areas so they can hide in it, sit on a fence in it, escape consequences in it...

Dawg, youse already such a warrior! Jes' keep punchin'. Those who hear, hear. THe rest cain't claim they never heard it.

Boxer-Babe's musings matter so much--if we is chemical soup ONLY then nuthin' ultimately matters. (God could have used soup too--but the main point then would be that the soup developed as HE intended, not random meaninglessness)


youse so smart! Yeah Pandora had human hope, not supernatural hope in Christ.

An what of Moi said, too--"does religion have the monopoly on morality? Can one be a just and righteous person without being religious?"

boneman said...

To my way of thinking, the CREATOR doesn't knock at anybody's door, but instead, cast the stone that is Earth long before mankind even opened eyes.
(if you hear a knocking, it's the Spirit calling you to act...so, wake up and act, folks)

And when mankind opened eyes to all that may be had that, more than any other, was a sad, sad day.

But, if I may be permitted to chime in on the nomenclature conversation?
It's not so unlike the idea that some want to point to global warming as the reason to clean up those smokestacks and polluting vehicles all over the place. Put an end to styrofoam snack packs and aerosol can spraying 'natural' scents (does that sound as oxymoron to y'all as it does to me? I mean, spraying natural smells around the house?)
sorry...anyway, wouldn't we just rather look at it simply as, we, as human beings, don't WANT to live in GARBAGE and smog.
(does that translate well?)
how about George, an Inca dude from 2000 BC. Lived well, never heard the name of Jesus, but, always helped his neighbors, gave of his own stores for others during hard times, and, in general, was a friend to most he encountered.
As much as a Christian as some Christians I know.

(ok, I know better'n to be too long)


Ardlair said...


Three years on, same old stuff.

Fake southern' drawl.
Strange words as a vehicle for strange thoughts.
If you believed the words, you'd not use a dialect to disguise them.

Narrow minded perspectives.
Selective quotation.
Derision to the critics, lavish praise to all that agree.

Does christianity have the monopoly on morality?
Of course not.
Read a bit more.
Think a bit more.
Be a bit more.
Than dull, narrow, unthinking, unquestioning.

If I had the energy, I'd engage.
But it is vital in life to recognise lost causes.

And this site........... is just that.

Love, and a bit of hope,


Boxer said...

Ardlair loves you Aunty!!!!! He left you a big "Ardy" quote. Let me paraphrase it;

ZZZZZZZ, but use a British accent.

CHEF TROLL said...


Thought the above might be of interest to Aunty even though I suspect hippies are involved in the project.

Ardlair's incapable of love. It might APPEAR that he loves himself, but, in reality, he loathes himself too.

Aunty Belle said...


yep, the good fella what never heered of Jesus is fine--on his way to a happy hereafter--IF he was --as ya say--really a good person through and through.

But, most of us-- in the natural-- ain't so good all the time.

I mean, them MesoAmerica and Meso Mesopotamia was saturated with human sacrifice. Aunty makes note that the myth of the "noble savage" is jes' that. A Myth.

It's a struggle--hence the phrase "fallen world". Antidote is grace that is made possible and available through Christ. Grace is what moves yore constricted heart to expand and want to do better...and to impel you to some concrete work of mercy and love.

(Troll, as a clarification, grace is free an' unmerited, a pure gift, an' the fruit of it is the good thangs ya done on account of grace moved ya to do it James 2:20)


is it ya'self? Well youse welcome even if youse bored by us'uns.

What is selective? What is narrow? What is disguised? Be specific an' we can tussle like the days of old.


heh. I know he does, but then,ain't no accountin' fer folks' taste. Some need a mountain to climb or they never feel they's arrived. Reckon Ardlair would be all acquiver at the thought of poke salat aunty steppin' foot on he oh-so- urbane continent in a few days. Brining' mah pollutin' drawl to the edoocated shores.


I will check out the hippie hogs--thanky!

Ardlair is intrigued by ya' Troll.

Malinda777 said...

I'm late on this one...but have some to add:

BOXER: YES...you can be a good and righteous human and not be particularly religious. I grew up extremely religious, taught Sunday school and played the piano in a Southern Baptist church. I moved to Reno and became a high limit casino dealer for 20 years. THAT WAS a question posed to me MANY times by religious and atheists alike.

I always told my religious folk that you can't save the sinners at church...you have to go where the sinners are :) I also had the fabulous opportunity to meet folks from all walks of life, religion, and from countries I never knew existed and folks that were SO FOREIGN to me. BUT...THOSE good folk made me consider a new word.

KARMIC - I have my Baptist background, and I believe. BUT - It's NOT just Christians that will join me in heaven. I've met Aborigines, Buddahists, Catholics, Agnostics, Jews, and even a rare Athesist that was OK.

It's believing in a higher power of some sort. WHATEVER HIGHER POWER causes you as an individual to choose right over wrong...call it conscience...it rules you in a karmic sense to be good :) You may not even recognize you believe in a higher power...but our emotions and our spirit...that part of us that causes us to do good...is in some way a type of religion :) Welcome to peace and goodness :)

ARDLAIR: How dare you? This is Aunty's blog. How she writes it, is HER BUSINESS! You don't like it...click the little red X at the top right of your browser :)

I LOVE HER SLANG AND HER "QUERIED" LANGUAGE. I correlate Aunty to a much more brilliant Mark Twain :) I lived in the Deep South! Folks there talk JUST LIKE Aunty...and a whole bunch of them have many degrees and are exemplary leaders, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and WEALTHY beyond belief.

If you've never lived in a magical place like the Deep South, you have NO RIGHT to judge the language, the thought, the centuries old traditions, or anything else! Do you have anything in your life or heart that is...oh...possibly OVER 100 YEARS OLD?

NOTHING is free. I loved learning here that virtue and verile are derivatives of the same Latin meaning. I find virtuous folk sexy and VERY verile :)

Whether they consider themselves to be religious or not. Perhaps good folk just understand the simple circle.

A circle is round, has no beginning or end, and if it moves...what comes a ROUND goes again a ROUND. Karma...it's unavoidable, and has no "label". It just is...

My religion now since I talk to so many from all places and walks of life...even now as a business owner...is Karma.

Karma really freaks the libs out too :) (hehehehe) Left wing folk never really know how to discuss that word...freaks them out...and gets rid of them in short fashion too :)