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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Cebuhar

Sunday Sharing -- Faith, Hope, Charity, and Me

In my continuing interfaith conversations, someone brought up the ideas of faith, hope, and charity, and what they may mean to Pagans. I had to think about this one for a while. Plato wrote that “. . .one must make every effort to share in virtue and wisdom in one’s life, for the reward is beautiful and the hope is great” (Plato, Phadoe,114c-d), and while I do agree (as if Plato is standing nearby wringing his hands out of stress that I may not agree) it is true that readers may not necessarily agree with me. So all this to say that I offer my own take on understanding faith, hope, and charity as a Pagan. These ideas do find expression in many Pagan creeds and practices and though the terms may differ, the essence of these principles is nonetheless very foundational.

As a Pagan, I define faith as the trust that all things are interconnected. It involves a belief in the natural world's inherent sacredness and the divine immanence that pervades it. My faith is neither blind nor unquestioning but is based upon observation, experience, and a deep connectedness with the cycles of nature. I express this through rituals, ceremonies, and acts of reverence toward the Earth, the elements, and the spiritual forces they honor.

My hope is often intertwined with the cyclic rhythms of nature—the life, death, and rebirth at the core of the natural world, and thus, the hope with which each new beginning is graced. Even in the lowest of times, I’ve found hope in the promise of renewal and transformation. This is not passive hope, but rather a drive to action, to change for the better, and to nurture seeds of growth.

As for charity, well my experience of charity within Paganism is that it extends beyond simple giving and represents a broader sense of generosity, compassion, and reciprocity. A key aspect of my Paganism is that I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the web of life, the Earth, and my place within that. I believe that at its core, the root of charity in Paganism is the recognition that by nurturing and supporting others, we strengthen the web of life that sustains us all.

Blessed be.


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