Traces, no. 2, June 2024

Little by little
The Jubilee of 2025 will be dedicated to a matter that has become increasingly pertinent to everyone and to the everyday: hope. In the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee, Pope Francis poses several questions: Where does our certainty lie? What is the foundation of our hope? What is happiness? What is the happiness that we await and desire? And he points us toward the lived experience of Saint Paul, who, he says, is by no means naive or deluded, but “a realist.” That is why the apostle’s certainty is surprising: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or the sword?” He can say this, continues the pope, because “Christian hope does not deceive or disappoint”; he can say this by virtue of a real experience of that love, which makes desire certain.

In this sense Charles Péguy says that hope “does not go by itself,” that to hope “one must be very happy, one must have obtained, received a great grace.” He is the author who gave the title to the Spiritual Exercises of the Fraternity of CL, and who accompanied the path undertaken during those days (the texts will soon be available at This issue collects some testimonies on the theme addressed during those days, on the trust that is rekindled in the heart of the person, against all odds, because of the newness of life that comes from an encounter with Christ. This is what is happening today, in Cuba, Chile, and Qatar.

“What surprises me, says God, is hope.” Péguy empathizes with God’s being surprised by the person who hopes, by that “little hope that seems like nothing at all.” It is like God’s own method, His way of acting “gently,” as Benedict XVI described it: “He only gradually builds up his history within the great history of mankind (…) He continues to knock gently at the doors of our hearts and slowly opens our eyes if we open our doors to him.” And so to wonder, to hope.