by Chris Duvall, RScP
Faith, hope, love are the primary building blocks out of which all other virtues flow. A virtue is not just a positive quality. It is an active ingredient: something like yeast in the dough that causes an alchemical transformation to take place. Virtues have capacity to act, potency. When faith, hope, and love are put into the dough of the material world, they literally cause it to rise. Through the use of these virtues, the “lead” of our bewildered and stale lives is alchemically transformed into the gold of our authentic inner awakening (an adapted quote from Cynthia Bourgeault, Christian mystic).
When I read that, I remembered my step-mother, Ethel. Every Saturday, she got out her large ceramic mixing bowl, measured flour, salt, water, and yeast, stirred with a wooden spoon, covered the bowl with a clean towel, set it in a warm place, and waited. In a few hours, her dough rose. She formed loaves and set them aside to rise a second time. Then she baked and offered the bread as a loving blessing to our family.
With Cynthia’s input above, I can imbue this physical story with spiritual meaning. Using my imagination, I can dump all the ingredients of this moment’s collective human mess into Ethel’s big bowl. Into that situation, I can intentionally add the active yeast of hopeful, faithful love and just wait for the situation to rise.
I tried this the other day when I felt agitated by a situation in which others were involved. I acknowledged my reaction and chose to consciously mix in love and hope, believing such yeast would be an agent of rising coherence. Almost immediately, I experienced an inner rising that enabled me to respond in such a way that calmed, organized and elevated the situation. Relationships relaxed. People felt recognized. I experienced greater connection, freedom, happiness.
May your day be blessed through your conscious use of love, hope, and faith!