Objection 1: It would seem that hope remains after death, in the state of glory. Because hope perfects the human appetite in a more excellent manner than the moral virtues. But the moral virtues remain after this life, as Augustine clearly states (De Trin. xiv, 9). Much more then does hope remain.
Objection 2: Further, fear is opposed to hope. But fear remains after this life: in the Blessed, filial fear, which abides for ever -- -in the lost, the fear of punishment. Therefore, in a like manner, hope can remain.
Objection 3: Further, just as hope is of future good, so is desire. Now in the Blessed there is desire for future good; both for the glory of the body, which the souls of the Blessed desire, as Augustine declares (Gen. ad lit. xii, 35); and for the glory of the soul, according to Ecclus.24:29: |They that eat me, shall yet hunger, and they that drink me, shall yet thirst,| and 1 Pet.1:12: |On Whom the angels desire to look.| Therefore it seems that there can be hope in the Blessed after this life is past.
On the contrary, The Apostle says (Rom.8:24): |What a man seeth, why doth he hope for?| But the Blessed see that which is the object of hope, viz. God. Therefore they do not hope.
I answer that, As stated above (A), that which, in its very nature, implies imperfection of its subject, is incompatible with the opposite perfection in that subject. Thus it is evident that movement of its very nature implies imperfection of its subject, since it is |the act of that which is in potentiality as such| (Phys. iii): so that as soon as this potentiality is brought into act, the movement ceases; for a thing does not continue to become white, when once it is made white. Now hope denotes a movement towards that which is not possessed, as is clear from what we have said above about the passion of hope (Q, AA,2). Therefore when we possess that which we hope for, viz. the enjoyment of God, it will no longer be possible to have hope.
Reply to Objection 1: Hope surpasses the moral virtues as to its object, which is God. But the acts of the moral virtues are not incompatible with the perfection of happiness, as the act of hope is; except perhaps, as regards their matter, in respect of which they do not remain. For moral virtue perfects the appetite, not only in respect of what is not yet possessed, but also as regards something which is in our actual possession.
Reply to Objection 2: Fear is twofold, servile and filial, as we shall state further on (SS, Q, A). Servile fear regards punishment, and will be impossible in the life of glory, since there will no longer be possibility of being punished. Filial fear has two acts: one is an act of reverence to God, and with regard to this act, it remains: the other is an act of fear lest we be separated from God, and as regards this act, it does not remain. Because separation from God is in the nature of an evil: and no evil will be feared there, according to Prov.1:33: |He . . . shall enjoy abundance without fear of evils.| Now fear is opposed to hope by opposition of good and evil, as stated above (Q, A; Q, A ), and therefore the fear which will remain in glory is not opposed to hope. In the lost there can be fear of punishment, rather than hope of glory in the Blessed. Because in the lost there will be a succession of punishments, so that the notion of something future remains there, which is the object of fear: but the glory of the saints has no succession, by reason of its being a kind of participation of eternity, wherein there is neither past nor future, but only the present. And yet, properly speaking, neither in the lost is there fear. For, as stated above (Q, A), fear is never without some hope of escape: and the lost have no such hope. Consequently neither will there be fear in them; except speaking in a general way, in so far as any expectation of future evil is called fear.
Reply to Objection 3: As to the glory of the soul, there can be no desire in the Blessed, in so far as desire looks for something future, for the reason already given (ad 2). Yet hunger and thirst are said to be in them because they never weary, and for the same reason desire is said to be in the angels. With regard to the glory of the body, there can be desire in the souls of the saints, but not hope, properly speaking; neither as a theological virtue, for thus its object is God, and not a created good; nor in its general signification. Because the object of hope is something difficult, as stated above (Q, A): while a good whose unerring cause we already possess, is not compared to us as something difficult. Hence he that has money is not, properly speaking, said to hope for what he can buy at once. In like manner those who have the glory of the soul are not, properly speaking, said to hope for the glory of the body, but only to desire it.