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Faith, Hope, and Love – A Reflection

April 28, 2020
House Finch at Knoll Willow Open Space

The Apostle Paul reminds us of the place in our lives for faith, hope, and love in 1 Corinthians 13:13 — And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

You know, as I ponder this, you really can’t parse out the individual components of our spiritual life. They are all mixed together in a delightful recipe. As I watch Denise cook, she busily and thoughtfully mixes together all of the ingredients. There is a time and a method for creating the meal. It is a fascinating to me and it is a spiritual experience for her as she cooks. It is also spiritual experience for me as I watch and then enjoy the fruits of her labors.

Faith, Hope, and Love are all necessary ingredients of a spiritual life. While the greatest of these is love as Paul said, you can’t have love without Faith and Hope. And you can’t have Faith without Love and Hope any more than you can have Hope without Faith and Love. During these days of isolation and fear which surround the COVID-19 Pandemic, we can become scared, confused, and fearful. Those emotions and feelings can quickly turn us against one another. Sadly I am seeing this happen far too often. All of God’s children, created in the Image of God (Imago Dei) aren’t coming together. Instead there is so much division in this world.

While I was reading Thomas Merton’s book No Man Is an Island, the following passage spoke to me: Without hope, our faith gives us only an acquaintance with God. Without hope and love, faith only knows [God] as a stranger. For hope casts us into the arms of [God’s] mercy and of [God’s] providence. If we hope in [God], we will not only come to know that [God] is merciful but we will experience [God’s] mercy in our own lives. (pp. 15-16)

My prayer for all of God’s creation is that we can both experience God’s mercy on our own lives; but that we will also share God’s love and mercy in our lives of faith which we share with others.

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