Brief Thought Exercise: Always insufficient yet sometimes helpful. No sermon. No long exposition. No sci-fi, anime, video game references… Playing the odds. 

Roll the dice. 

Love. 

Love is a force of attraction. 

Loving Love pulls us together and binds us. Loving love gives rise to compassion, mercy, and justice. 

Faith. 

Faith is belief + trust. Not enough to believe in something. We must trust. But we cannot trust what we do not know, what we refuse to touch or relate to. Believing and trusting in Love means that we don’t simply “believe” in the power of love, we have come to know Love in a way that allows us to trust in love, and to follow Love where it leads. 

Hope. 

Hope for love pulls us ahead and gives us critical contrast. Hoping for love allows us to push for a better tomorrow. It is not blind optimism. Hoping for love allows us to imagine a world that does not yet exist, but our imagination keeps us from settling for the world as it is. 

Fear. Fear is a force of repulsion. Fear leads to “fight” or “flight” but not “embrace.” Loving fear gives rise to hatred, greed, oppression, and violence. I am thinking about the spiritual dimension of fear. Spiritually speaking, fear is an ultimate enemy of loving love. But fear does not exclude the acts of faith, hope, and love; rather, faith, hope, and love are connected to fear. 

We can love anything. We can trust anything. We can hope for anything. Simply saying “faith, hope, and love” remains empty phraseology unless we talk about the object(s) of our faith hope and love. You can love while being fearful. The fearful lover refuses to let their beloved go and turns a loving embrace into shackles and chains. The fearful loves the status quo and will destroy or harm those who seek to change it.  You can trust while being greedy. There’s a name for that. It’s called Avarice. You can hope while being hateful. You can hope for the death of the person you hate. 

So faith, hope, and love can lead to death as well as life. Therefore question is not “do we we have faith, hope, and love?” We all do. The question is: “do we trust in, hope for, and love love?” 

In the midst of the various social, political, economic, and ecological challenges we are facing… I keep trying to remember this. As I’ve said previously. We need all the social, political, economic, and ecological alternatives we can get, but we need a spiritual alternative too. 

Faith, hope, and love… Love

©2016 M. J. Sales

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