Thursday, September 06, 2007

Faith, Love and Divine Will

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Faith means trust in Divine will as truth. It involves unwavering resolve in pursuit of this will. Even when, to our finite intellects, this makes little sense. Especially so, in fact ~ for that's when faith becomes a struggle to nourish, and hence becomes more meaningful through that struggle. When we say we have faith, then, we mean we trust Divine will, as superseding our own will. But, how do we express that faith? Loving ~ without a view to any benefit which one would derive from that love, without any hope or expectation of reciprocation, and possibly with the certain knowledge that expressing said love will occur at one's own expense. Demonstration of such love requires great faith and also expresses great faith in the Divine.

Some might argue for a more concrete, and hence shallow, definition of faith ~ for instance the notion of faith as optimism. However, this seems inadequate to describe the type of faith which drives one to physically risk one's life for another or give his life for that other. It also fails to explain the type of faith and love which drives one to suffer on behalf of another or as a consequence of loving another. Such individuals clearly have unwavering trust in their expression of love as honouring the will of the Divine. How ... through what mechanism? What determines the degree of faith that individuals exert in their lives? In my opinion, its the extent to which each individual offers the Ego portion of his Self to the Divine. Placing one's trust in Divine will necessitates sacrificing that portion of one's Self demanding service to its own will.

The struggle to nourish faith, then, creates a great tension between that faith and one's Ego. A necessary tension, a circular tension. The mere existence of Ego lends living faith her title as vanquisher. Yet its existence also gives faith her reputation as a challenge to pursue and maintain. Would faith have the same meaning if we could woo her without a courtship? One wonders ~ perhaps the tension existing between Ego and faith animates living faith? That's a question for reflection, it seems. Nonetheless, as faith grows, so the Ego diminishes, and, the difficulty of our struggle against it.

It seems worth noting at this point that we don't have faith or love to earn salvation. The notion of salvation as a commodity, which we can purchase from God with our loving, altruistic deeds, seems uninformed. Rather, we receive salvation because we have faith. Trust in Divine will infuses a soul with a living, breathing faith ~ a sacred energy that occupies every fibre of our being, pervades every moment of our existence. And loving ~ loving, irregardless of the worthiness of the object of our love, just the way the Divine loves us ~ that's the purest manifestation of living, breathing faith. I conceive of love, then, as a cherished offspring of faith.