FAITH, HOPE, LOVE
I had the privilege at a recent Mythcon (annual meeting of the Mythopoeic Society) in Berkeley, CA (Aug. 2012), to sit on a panel about the relationship between myth and religion with Father G. Ronald Murphy, S.J.
Father Murphy made the excellent point that Christian Faith cannot be understood in the abstract or by itself, but only as it is related to the other virtues Paul lists along with it: “There then abide Faith, Hope, and Charity (love), these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Christians doesn’t just have faith as an abstract intellectual exercise: They trust and hope in One that they have learned to love. My thoughts about their interrelationships on the flight back to Georgia coalesced into this poem.
THERE THEN ABIDE THESE THREE
For Father G. Ronald Murphy, S.J.
Curtal Sonnet # 21
And what is Faith? Not simply to believe,
Unless Hope is no more than wishful thinking
Or Love a cynical disguise for lust.
Evidence and Reason can relieve
All valid doubt and yet still leave us shrinking
From what we do not love and will not trust.
Reason is necessary, not enough.
Soul-conquering Love must come alongside, linking
The mind in Hope to One who felt the thrust
Of all our hate and still looked back in Love:
In Him we trust.
Did I get it right?
For more poetry where this one came from, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011), $15.00 + shipping. See also Dr. Willliams’ other Lantern Hollow books, Reflections on Plato’s Cave: Essays in Evangelical Philosophy and Inklings of Reality: Essays toward a Christian Philosophy of Letters.