Faith, hope and charity. Instead of putting “hope” between the other two words, hope should come first. Hope is born of the intuitive consciousness of the forgotten image of God within. Though we see many expressions of hope in ordinary mortals, most people know practically nothing of this intuitive faith latent within everyone.
The greatest insult to the soul
Hope is the eternal light on the dark pathway the soul must travel in its journey back to God. Human beings hope and try for a while, but if they fail repeatedly, they cease to hope and become despondent. To kill hope with despondency is to hide your divine identity in an animal mask of limitation. The greatest insult to the soul is to label it with the consciousness of final despondency.
Neither failure nor death is your final experience. Death is not an eternal abyss of oblivious sleep but a “caravansary” where you rest for a while so that, with fresh hope and energy, you may journey on until you reach your mansion of eternal fulfillment in God.
So never extinguish hope, as you would have to wander miserably in darkness for incarnations until you choose to rekindle your searchlight of hope and start again on your journey homeward to God. You must keep hoping to know God even to the last breath.
Used properly, hope becomes faith
When used properly, that is, to recover the soul’s lost intuition, hope becomes “faith.” Through ever-deeper meditation, bodily discipline and moral living, souls acquire faith—the intuitive consciousness of God.
Often, the word “faith” is used incorrectly to mean “belief” as, “I have faith in him.” Belief, however, is the initial feeling about the truth of something; constructive belief is the attitude of mind necessary for testing that truth.
Constructive belief is good when one continuously experiments with a truth until its real nature is revealed. We can only know truth by testing and experimenting. Disbelief or doubt can also be good if one does not assume an attitude of final skepticism but says, rather, “I’m from Missouri; I shall not believe your statement until you prove that it is true.”
Disbelief becomes destructive, however, when one refuses to test and experiment. Untested belief crystallizes into dogmatism or, if discouraged, into skepticism or unbelief.
The faith that moves mountains
According to Jesus, faith is the proof of things unseen. Through our senses we perceive visible phenomena, but we do not perceive invisible substances such as vibrations and subtle cosmic forces.
The proof of the existence of vibrations and subtle cosmic forces, and ultimately of God, lies in faith—the all-knowing, intuitive power developed through deep meditation and soul contact. Faith is the inner light in the presence of which all invisible subtle forces are revealed.
Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘remove hence to yonder place,’ and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
One who has faith in—or intuitive knowledge of—cosmic consciousness as the prime mover of all creation, can cause any portion of matter to respond to his command. Just as you can cause consciousness to move your muscles, so also can the man of omnipresent cosmic consciousness cause all matter, including a mountain, to move.
Charity is born of sympathy
To have “charity” is to have the love of a million mothers in your heart, no prejudices of race, color or class, and the ever-ready willingness to spread the light of friendly service to all.
Charity is born of sympathy, and sympathy is born of the consciousness of omnipresence, in which the advanced soul can transfer his consciousness to limited souls and experience their sufferings. When he feels their sufferings, the desire to offer help springs forth.
When you want salvation so that you may give it to all, when you want to drink God’s omnipresent nectar not only through your one soul but also through the mouths of all souls—you have charity.