Faith is not a possession. It is not to be put on the shelf for safe keeping. It is not a cross around your neck. It is not magic.
Faith is not mental exercise that arrives at right belief. Faith is not a moral exercise that ends in right behavior.
I like these three invitations.
First, faith is a dynamic invitation to tell the truth. Douglas John Hall offers this frame, “The truth is simple: you have a short time between your birth and your death, and important questions need to be answered.”
Second, faith is a dynamic invitation to set aside fear and be fully alive. The poet Joy Harjo speaks to this element of faith:
I release you, my beautiful and terrible fear.
I release you, so now
I am not afraid to be angry
I am not afraid to rejoice
I am not afraid to be hungry
I am not afraid to be full
I am not afraid to be black
I am not afraid to be white
I am not afraid to be hated
I am not afraid to be loved
To be loved
To be loved, fear.
Third, faith is a dynamic invitation to be fully responsible and responsive to the presence of Love. The world is good, and waiting to be loved. Dorothy Day speaks beautifully, “It is love that will make us want to do great things for each other. As such, no one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless. We have too much work to do.”
I want this faith. Maybe you do too.