Catholic Commute S02E28 How to find Hope

8 Steps for when you feel all is lost

Hope is not only an incredibly powerful thing, it’s an incredibly Christian virtue. We need to open ourselves up to Hope if we want to find happiness in this life. We cannot just wait for things to “get better!”

In this episode I explore 8 specific ways to try to find Hope in your life. I hope that some of them will connect with you in whatever struggles you now are facing.

You can download the episode here.

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S02E28 How to find Hope


Patron Saint: Saint Jude

Jude, also known as Judas Thaddaeus, but is clearly distinguished from Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus prior to his crucifixion.

Tradition holds that Saint Jude preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia and Libya.[21] He is also said to have visited Beirut and Edessa, though the emissary of the latter mission is also identified as Thaddeus of Edessa, Addai,[22] one of the Seventy.[23] The 14th-century writer Nicephorus Callistus makes Jude the bridegroom at the wedding at Cana. The legend reports that St. Jude was born into a Jewish family in Paneas, a town in Galilee later rebuilt during the Roman period and renamed Caesarea Philippi.[24][note 1]
In all probability he spoke both Greek and Aramaic, like almost all of his contemporaries in that area, and was a farmer by trade. According to the legend, St. Jude was a son of Clopas and his mother Mary, a cousin of the Virgin Mary.[26] Tradition has it that Jude’s father, Clopas, was martyred because of his forthright and outspoken devotion to the risen Christ.

Tradition holds that Jude the Apostle was vegetarian.



Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus, I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing in the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank you, Saint Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe, and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me.




How to find hope


  1. Believe that change is possible.
    1. Psychologists tell us that lack of belief is toxic, “giving up”
    2. Indicates doubt of God’s power or God’s goodness
    3. Story of lost keys after first elk
  2. Draw near to God
    1. Much of the old testament is a story of God’s sadness over Israel’s unfaithfulness
    2. 2 Chronicles 36: 15-16,  The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; 16 but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy.
    3. [destruction]
    4. 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, 21 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.
    5. Why this story? Because everything God does is for our eventual good.
    6. Like a child drawing near to a parent after a bad choice may get diminished punishment.
  3. Encourage Yourself in God
    1. David in Psalm 42:11 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:11
    2. Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
    3. Jeremiah 29:11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
    4. This is essentially to realize that God is all powerful and all loving
  4. Seek Forgiveness
    1. Much of our pain comes from our own actions
    2. Confession is a powerful way to wipe away sin from God’s memory
    3. Story of exorcist
    4. February 15 marks the feast day of a relatively obscure saint: St. Claude de la Colombiere. St. Claude was a 17th-Century Jesuit priest and teacher — and a solid one at that — but he’s most notable for being the spiritual director and confessor for St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the sister to whom Jesus revealed and encouraged the devotion to his Sacred Heart.

      St. Claude’s first encounter with the saintly religious came when St. Margaret Mary approached him, insisting that Jesus had appeared to her and indicated that Fr. Claude should give her spiritual direction. More than a little skeptical (I mean, who wouldn’t be…), Fr. Claude replied, “Okay. If Jesus appears to you again, you go back and ask him what the last mortal sin was that I confessed. If you can tell me that, then I’ll be your spiritual director.”

      As it turned out, St. Margaret Mary did see Jesus again, and asked him that very question. Jesus simply looked at her and said three words:

      “I don’t remember.”

      Needless to say, St. Claude became her spiritual director. And it’s because he knew one fundamental thing about the Lord’s mercy: Once a sin is forgiven, it’s gone forever, because Jesus doesn’t need to remember what it was.
  5. Forgive Yourself.
    1. In some ways, this is actually harder than forgiving others.
    2. Psalm 103:10-11 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
         nor repay us according to our iniquities.
      11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
         so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
    3. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    4. galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    5. Brief mention of movie October Baby
  6. Forgive Others
    1. Two parts: 1 connects us to God, and 2. Allows for healing
    2. Brief discussion: Lord’s Prayer implications
    3. “studies are finding connections between forgiveness and physical, mental, and spiritual health and evidence that it plays a key role in the health of families, communities, and nations.”
    4. In one study, Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, a psychologist at Hope College, asked people to think about someone who had hurt, mistreated, or offended them. While they thought about this person and his or her past offense, she monitored their blood pressure, heart rate, facial muscle tension, and sweat gland activity. To ruminate on an old transgression is to practice unforgiveness. Sure enough, in Witvliet’s research, when people recalled a grudge, their physical arousal soared. Their blood pressure and heart rate increased, and they sweated more. Ruminating about their grudges was stressful, and subjects found the rumination unpleasant. It made them feel angry, sad, anxious, and less in control. Witvliet also asked her subjects to try to empathize with their offenders or imagine forgiving them. When they practiced forgiveness, their physical arousal coasted downward. They showed no more of a stress reaction than normal wakefulness produces.
    5. The physical benefits of forgiveness seem to increase with age, according to a recent study led by Loren Toussaint, a psychologist at Luther College, in Iowa. Toussaint
    6. According to a recent review of the literature on forgiveness and health by Michael Scherer and Everett L. Worthington, Jr., unforgiveness might compromise the immune system at many levels.
  7. Respond in Humility
    1. Story of rich man Nabal, wife Abigail, and Nabal stiffs David.
    2. “When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground.” – 1 Samuel 25:23
    3. Pride is toxic to Hope
    4. Pride intrinsically turns our eyes towards ourself. The problem is that we know our self – that self has failed us many times. Hardly a solid basis for Hope
    5. Pope Francis: Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree.
  8. Entrust your fate to Jesus through Mary
    1. Could do an entire episode on 33 days to Morning Glory, but there is not time. Choosing one small piece.
    2. God is both perfect mercy and perfect justice.  Mary is perfect mercy. Which one is safer?
    3. Catholics have a unique source of hope particularly because of the role that we allow Mary to play in our lives
    4. Mary is the “spouse” of Holy Spirit. The last time they came together, look what happened!  When we involve Mary in our prayers, we create powerful reasons for hope.


  1. Believe that change is possible.
  2. Draw near to God
  3. Encourage Yourself in God
  4. Seek Forgiveness
  5. Forgive Yourself.
  6. Forgive Others
  7. Respond in Humility
  8. Entrust your fate to Jesus through Mary


Pope Francis Quote:

To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow. Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life. And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of light that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another “you,” and another “you,” and it turns into an “us.” And so, does hope begin when we have an “us?” No. Hope began with one “you.” When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.


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