Faith (as an aspect of Love)

In this church we sometimes talk about the difference between believing something and having real faith in something. For example, you might believe your parents if they tell you that sitting quietly and saying a prayer each morning and night is a good thing to do. But what if one of your friends says it’s rubbish? If you have faith then you would go on saying your prayers each morning and night and not be put off.

So you can see that it’s important to develop faith, otherwise you end up never sticking to anything.

In The Quest, Abdullah tells us that we should learn to put our faith in our spirit or God; and not put all our faith and trust in the body. Abdullah, also says that children see the world differently from adults and that when you grow up you must try to remember what you saw as children, because we are all children of God.

The first story this week comes from Ramakrishna.

A man wanted to cross the river. His guru gave him a locket and said “This will carry you across”. The man hung it around his neck and began to walk over the water. When he reached the middle he became curious and so he stopped and opened the locket to see what was inside it.  There he found a small piece of paper with the name of the God Rama written on it. The man said, “This is only a scrap of paper, this is nothing.” And he immediately sank into the water.

Ramakrishna says, ”We must have faith in the name of God, for faith is life and doubt is death”.

The second story comes from the Zen Buddhist tradition.

A Zen Buddhist monk called Gasan was sitting by the bedside of his old master Tekisui who was very ill, and whom he loved very much. A temple had recently burned down and the younger monk had been rebuilding it.

The old master asked him “What are you going to do with the temple when it is rebuilt?”

The younger monk said, “When you are better, we want you to speak at the temple.”

“Suppose I do not live that long?” said the old master.

“Then we will get someone else.” said the younger monk.

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