Hope is not a feeling, sentiment, or affect. It is not a starry-eyed assurance, cheery conviction, or buoyant confidence. Nor is it passive optimism that, despite the situation, bullishly predicts, “It’s all going to work out.” It is beyond security and peacefulness. Hope cannot be bought or taught. It can only be received and awakened. Saint Francis instinctively knew this when, seeking discernment before the San Damiano crucifix, he prayed, “And give me…certain hope….” The seed of hope is planted by God and celebrates the gratuity of grace. It is a gift, a blessing that strangely breaks ground and sprouts only during times of desperation, despair, despondency, and disaster—when the soul is parched.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
by Albert Haase, OFM