Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Big Three on Christmas Day

Faith. Hope. Love.

Did you think I meant the American car companies?

In all traditions, religious or not, the top three spiritual values are faith, hope and love. St. Paul tries to tell us that the greatest of these is love, but I think they are a trinity, co-existent and interdependent and of equal value although one may predominate from time to time according to your personal situation.

The time of transformation and hope for something new to be born is central to all faith, to all people. Christians at Christmas see this at the birth of Jesus, Godde as little baby—hard not to love. (Well, there's chronic colic. Hard not to care for anyway.)

Faith, hope and love are called spiritual because humanity can't control them, only be open to them, experience them, and be grateful. Ever try to make yourself love someone you don't? Or make someone love you? Ever try to give faith to someone, or hope? You can't. (It's worse than trying to get your loved one to stop smoking. In that case you let go and pray for a triple dose of all three.)

I wish you my blog readers and colleagues the joy of love, the wealth of faith, and the inner serenity of hope at Christmas and beyond— in equal measure.

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