Monday, April 10, 2006

 

Faith and Its Opposite

Just as day cannot exist without night, and truth without lies, so it is with faith and doubt.

What does it mean to never know doubt? It is like sleeping with the lights on and never going out after sunset. It is like never seeing ugliness, only beauty.

But the night follows the day, and the day follows the night, eternally renewing each other. And how can anyone truly avoid the darkness? At times, the lamps lit by men fail, and darkness falls despite heroic efforts to keep it at bay. To see only the beautiful is to close the eyes; for these times are ugly. To hear only truth is to deafen yourself to evil; for lies are ever on the lips of those who steal from the multitude.

To proclaim faith and ignore doubt is to spread the Gospel blindly. It is to speak the Truth without understanding the difference between the Truth and what is not true; and without knowing why men need to hear it.

Suppose the lamps lit by the man who keeps the dark at bay never fail? When his children ask him, "What is night?" what will he answer? If those children leave home and make their own way in the world, they will surely seek out darkness.

Why would someone keep the lights on at all times? Perhaps so as to never be lost, and always find the way? Or is it fear?

But with the armor of faith, fear is overcome. If there be faith, then doubt need not create fear. Doubt is a natural state, as is the night. Doubt renews faith, doubt complements faith. Doubt and faith are like the two sides of the same coin. We say the opposite of night is day, and the opposite of faith is doubt.

But the true opposite of faith is fear.

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