Outstretched Wings of the Spirit, Day Eight

The Eighth Day
(Wednesday, March 13, 2019)

Grounded Faith

“Faith is essential to religion. A faith is a transforming and activating belief. Faith is belief controlling the viscera. It is belief become dynamic, functioning in life. It is belief which gives us access to what we love and honor most. Religious faith is a belief which organizes and integrates our activities and hidden impulses, and connects them with an ongoing movement of life which reaches higher than I have yet explored. It is a belief which opens an orient gate to the dawning of more spacious days than we have known in our past. 

“A faith may be without evidence. But if there is any one belief above all others that should be subjected to rigorous tests it is that which changes my way of living and directs or misdirects me toward what is most important for all human fulfillment,. Hence a faith, more than any other belief, should be based on tests and evidence. A faith so grounded is one of the most precious possessions we can have.”  (Wieman & Wieman)

What we call our faith is the total integrated structure of all of our beliefs, made coherent and rational, and constantly tested our and either reaffirmed or corrected by continuing life experience. It becomes the foundation for our personal morale and morals as we confront the challenges of daily life. Faith is our character. (Donald Szantho Harrington)


Spacious God, help us, each one personally, to mould our many beliefs into a vital, rational, vibrant religious faith capable of empowering and directing our lives towards the highest. Amen.


Faith of our forebears, living still,
In spite of dungeon fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy,
Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our forebears, holy faith.
we will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our forebears, faith and prayer
Have kept our country brave and free,
And through the truth that comes from God,
Its children have true liberty.
Faith of our forebears, holy faith.
we will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our foreberas, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife,
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life;
Faith of our forebears, holy faith.
we will be true to thee till death.

—Frederick William Faber (Hymns of the Spirit, no. 546)

Donald Szantho Harrington wrote the Lenten meditation manual Outstretched Wings of the Spirit: On Being Intelligently and Devotedly Religiousbased on the theology of Henry Nelson Wieman and Regina Westcott Wieman. It was published by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1980.