We’re welcome to say whatever we want to about all the things we believe, but any sacred tradition we care to reference will remind us that the surest evidence of what we believe is what we do. Faith without works is . . . not actually your faith, as it turns out. We do what we believe—maybe it’s a relief to even say it aloud—and we don’t do what we don’t. It’s no secret after all….
If what you believe is what you say and do, the guiding provocation runs like this: Show me your receipts, your text messages, your gas mileage, your online history, a record of your daily doings and, just to get things started, a transcript of the words you’ve spoken aloud in the course of a single day, and then we might begin to get a picture of your religious commitments.
– David Dark, Life’s Too Short to Pretend You’re Not Religious
[Just after Pentecost Sunday, I recalled this reading describing the experience of the Holy Spirit in the base communities among the poor in Latin America]:
Then they have this experience: suddenly they begin to act; they discover that they themselves are capable of action. Before, they had no plans, no projects for the future, only frustrated dreams. They had no confidence in their own judgment, in their capacity to plan and gain practical knowledge of the world. They followed custom of the instructions of their masters. Now they discover that they are acting for themselves, discover that they are capable of setting and seeking goals, of achieving objectives….
It is a matter of experience undergone by a community of people who feel that something new is coming about in their midst.
- Jose Comblin, The Holy Spirit and Liberation (1989)