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The Catholic Church along with most others is going through a time of unprecedented crisis. So we hear of a vocation crisis where already so many parishes are without priests and few are in training. Then there is the crisis of falling attendances with the average age of parishioners being in the sixty plus bracket with the present church holding very little appeal for a younger generation. Could the real crisis be one of faith? Has the church that we have known been more hopeful than faithful. The quality of our prayer tended to be future orientated that God will answer our petitions and things would get better. However it is clear from the scriptures that it is not the prayer of hope that heals, but the prayer of faith. HOPE can be an anacronym for, Holding only Positive Expectations and is a very important virtue but it can also be empty and ineffective if it doesn’t have a faith foundation that is more than a vague belief in the goodness of God. Real faith is based on Jesus’ words to be brave (and so have hope) because I have conquered. Faith in the victory of Christ, in what is already an established fact must form the basis of Christian hope.

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