||Contemporary anthropological accounts of the "self" are inadvertently contributing to our incapacity to honestly and thoroughly encounter our suffering and to find in it meaningfulness or usefulness. Neither optimism nor despair can adequately help us to confront our desires or fears. Hope, however, is able to situate us within the experience of suffering so that we understand its reality and our trajectory beyond it. The Christian tradition's longstanding narrative of hope that is born through suffering is better equipped to point us toward a future with new possibilities beyond our affliction. An account of paradoxical, purgative suffering which is neither anxious nor resentful is illustrated by Dante, St. Catherine of Genoa, St. John of the Cross, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who each make a compelling case for why we can and should hope in a contemporary context. Their accounts reveal the positive effect that hope can have in the moral and spiritual spheres.