My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky

It is a serious mistake to think that faith is holding onto the beliefs we were taught by the church. Memorizing phrases produces trance, not actual awareness. Faith, rather, is a trust in the life process itself. If your religion has not led you to awareness, perhaps you should explore whether it is even intended to do so. A religion which does not celebrate doubt as fully as it celebrates belief can produce only delusion. A religious community of any stripe should not be an end in itself. If any religion is not working humbly to make this a better world for everyone by actual acts of kindness and justice, it is false.

If mere prayers and sprinkling holy water on our problems has not changed our world in two thousand years, perhaps words like “faith” and “prayer” should be understood more deeply as the struggles of our deepest center to understand and change our world for the better. Your “hosanna” will not found by clutching the teachings of the dead. It is hiding in the world’s problems and in your fears. “Faith” is a species of courage.