The Bonds of Faith and Love
Over at Patheos, Tim Muldoon has an excellent reflection on his faith and why he chooses it. He writes, “I choose faith in the God revealed in the life of Jesus, because I understand that faith to be a prerequisite for discerning meaning in the world, and even more importantly for acting in love.” This. Seventy-times-seven times this.
The faith for which I strive doesn’t give me certainty about the origins of the cosmos or the ultimate destiny of humankind. It doesn’t rid me of doubts, and it doesn’t comfort me. Instead, faith gives me the grace to give myself to another in love knowing that my love may bear no visible fruit and that it will inevitably break my heart and leave me irreparably broken. Faith makes it possible for me to love with all my being while understanding only too well that those I dearly love may be taken from me at any moment. To have this faith is to believe that love has no time constraints and that death does not invalidate the logic of love. Time cannot constrain love, even if the time to show a lifetime of love lasts only for mere hours or minutes or a moment.
My faith is a response to the inevitability of death, but not because it provides me with a detailed map of all roads in the afterlife. I cannot say for sure that such a place exists. Rather, my faith nourishes and sustains my love for those I know will die and those who have passed beyond death’s horizon. By faith I affirm the being of friends and family who have passed into seeming nothingness. By faith I remember and remain devoted to them.
Without faith, love is absurd and foolish. Through faith, my love has been made eternal; and in my love for those facing death, I discern the face of a humble God.