"In the courageous standing of uncertainty, faith shows most visibly its dynamic character." ~ Tillich
I am not sure what Tillich is saying. Does it take courage to allow faith to take its place in my heart? Or is it faith that gives me the courage to stand in uncertainty? Either way in my beginner's experience faith has allowed me to appear courageous where in fact I am just resting on the faith-based certainty that everything is inevitably for the best. It would take an outrageous, perhaps even irrational, level of courage to continue breathing if I did not have that rock solid faith.
"If God invited you to a party and said,
“Everyone in the ballroom tonight will
be my special guest,”
how would you then treat them when you arrived?
And Hafiz knows that there is no one in
this world who is not standing upon
His jeweled dance floor." ~ Hafiz
This is truly one of my continued challenges: recognizing each and every one as the One, as the Self, and not like a robot accepting my sad and instant judgements which are, after all, all of me....
"I hope for the day when everyone can speak of God without embarrassment." ~ Paul Tillich
It took me years to be able to say ‘God’ not just without embarrassment but also without disgust, resentment, in fact judgement of any kind. The god I grew up with (or, rather, did not grow up with) was an image I had made up based on wrong interpretations all around me from when I was very little. Once I grasped the idea of an all encompassing God, the Truth and beauty of all I could see, the word God became an affirmation of who I Am and of All that IS. Gratitude.
"Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone." ~ Paul Tillich
The pain of being alone comes from the hatred for the one I am alone with. The glory of being alone comes from Knowing the One.
"Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." ~ Tagore
'Feels the light', regardless of the seeming immensity of the darkness surrounding me, that is Faith.
"To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference." ~ Thomas Merton
Faith teaches me, lovingly, that everything always and all ways is for me. This is a benevolent Universe.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." ~ Carl Sagan
That extraordinary evidence becomes clear the moment I surrender to the One-ness. The claim itself will not produce evidence. My surrendering to the idea of Love does.
“Don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
How do I develop that faith? By asking: how would it feel if what Rilke says here so eloquently were True. It would feel absolutely amazing, beyond words amazing. That feeling, that anticipation, merits unequivocal Faith. Carried by that Faith, what is taught here becomes an experience. Piece of cake...
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." ~ Corrie ten Boom
What is that ‘known God’? That is a God free of individuality. That is a God free of the ego personality and characteristics I projected on it. That is a God known as an all encompassing idea of infinite love and acceptance. What could there be to be afraid of?
“How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we all remain too frightened.” Hafiz
What an astoundingly simple way of describing what happens in our work.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again