We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place)

I was going to write about Rihanna’s song, “We Found Love”, but the holidays have kept me busy.

Here, instead, is someone else’s similar take on it:

“We found love in a hopeless place” is repeated over and over again.

When I first heard the song, I immediately thought of 1 Timothy 1:1, where Paul greets Timothy “by [the] command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.”

This world can seem like a hopeless place. …

It is no coincidence that the first week of Advent is hope. It’s more than a campaign slogan: hope is a theological virtue. St. Thomas, in the Summa Theologica, wrote “the object of hope is a future good which is difficult to obtain, yet possible.” This is precisely why we Christians have a whole season devoted to awaiting Christ, whose Incarnation brings joy to the world, peace to all people, and, most importantly, hope.

Christians are called to be in the world, but not of it. This liturgical season gives us reason to hope in dismal circumstances, and puts a face to that hope too.

The message Rhianna’s music video, perhaps unintentionally, portrays is that this material world is not enough. No level of excitement can ever or truly be fulfilling. Meanwhile, her lyrics look upwards, aspiring for real love. The world she sees is hopeless; but doesn’t the love she finds there suggest some degree of it?

“It’s the feeling I just can’t deny / But I’ve got to let it go / We found love in a hopeless place / We found love in a hopeless place / We found love in a hopeless place,” sings Rhianna. Well, I can’t deny it either: “And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

Aquinas finished the section on hope as a virtue by saying, “he who hopes is indeed in respect of that which he hopes to obtain but does not yet possess. But he is perfect in that he already attains his proper rule, that is God, on whose hope he relies.”

— from Looking for Love in a Hope Filled World

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