Faith, Reason and the Possibility of Hope



Photo (c) 2017 L. M. R. Neas

"Faith sustains us in the hour when reason tells us that we can not continue, that the whole of our whole lives is without meaning...Faith and reason are the shoes on your feet. You can travel further with both than you can with just one...That's all that faith requires. That we surrender ourselves to the possibility of hope. For that I'm content."
J. Michael Straczynski - Writer, Producer 


Consistently, I am amazed at what speaks to me, what brings me inspiration, and/or what brings me peace, after I have asked the Divine one of those "big" questions. Recently, distraught over the world situation coupled with requests from loved ones to pray for those suffering from pain and abuse or for those grieving, I wondered how do we keep going.  More correctly, I asked, "How do we maintain our faith when faced with so much evil, hate and despair?"

As a minister, I know Sacred Scripture holds many answers to our questions. As an interfaith minister, I have at my disposal the Sacred Texts of most of the world's religions. But this is not where my answer was to be found. Words that inspire often come from unexpected places.

After a particularly draining day, I sat down to watch a bit of the series, Babylon 5. I find science fiction written in the fashion of Star Trek to be relaxing. In all seriousness, watching these types of shows, lets me go "where no one has gone before." That is to say, viewing the experiences of humans in space helps me put into perspective life here, now, on Earth.

We were on the last episode of season four - The Deconstruction of Falling Stars - where a young monk rushes in to see the abbot with a crisis of faith.  The young man asks how he can continue writing the illuminated manuscripts that tell of Earth's past when all that is left to assist him are scraps of text and memories. He tells his superior that it just doesn't seem reasonable.

"Wow," I thought, "this is exactly what I was pondering." I sat up straighter, waiting for the reply.

The old abbot, portrayed as a somewhat scatter-brained eccentric, says, "Faith sustains us in the hour when reason tells us that we can not continue, that the whole of our whole lives is without meaning."

"Hmm," my mind continued, "OK, but I need more that that.  I have heard that before and it feels like a pat answer." 

"Faith and reason are the shoes on your feet. You can travel further with both than you can with just one."

"Now, that I can see," I thought.

The abbot concluded his counsel with, "That's all that faith requires. That we surrender ourselves to the possibility of hope. For that I'm content."

May all of us find contentment in surrendering to the "possibility of hope." May we hold strong to the thin threads of faith and reason, entwining them, weaving them into the fabric of our lives, so that we might find hope for all that lies ahead. 

Blessings to all!

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