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Consideration of this state of soul is limited in this article to its aspect as a factor in the supernatural order .
for His own infinite perfections, is depraved cupidity and a sin.
He is the material object because He is that which is chiefly, though not solely, aimed at when we elicit acts of this virtue- ie., whatever else is looked for is only desired in so far as it bears a relation to Him.
Hence according to the generally followed teaching, not only supernatural helps, particularly such as are necessary for our salvation, but also things in the temporal order, inasmuch as they can be means to reach the supreme end of human life, may be the material objects of supernatural hope.
Of course in such a theory there could not properly speaking be any place for the virtue of hope as we understand it.
It is easy also to see how it fits in with the initial Protestant position of identifying faith and confidence and thus making hope rather an act of the intellect than of the will.
Theologians are not of one mind in determining what is to be assigned as the sufficient reason of supernatural hope. It is based, according to him, on our apprehension of God as our supreme supernatural good Whose communication in the beatific vision is to make us happy for all eternity, and also on those Divine attributes such as omnipotence, mercy and fidelity, which unite to exhibit God as our unfailing helper.
These considerations, he thinks, motive our wills or furnish the answer to the question why we hope.For if we may not hope, in the Catholic sense, for blessedness, the only substitute available seems to be belief in the Divine mercy and promises.It is a truth constantly acted upon in Catholic life and no less explicitly taught, that hope is necessary to salvation.Like supernatural faith and charity it is directly implanted in the soul by Almighty God.Both in itself and in the scope of its operation it outstrips the limits of the created order, and is to be had if at all only through the direct largess of the Creator.Hope is termed a theological virtue because its immediate object is God, as is true of the other two essentially infused virtues, faith and charity. Thomas acutely says that the theological virtues are so called "because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures ".