Reflections on the theme for October: “The interpretation of a sacred text is true if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe.”

The Persian word for awe in meaning is difficult to translate. It is almost something like bashfulness. Not quite modesty, not shame. It is a quality of being lacking any presumption and fully aware of our responsibility toward the Divine.

Hope as it is commonly understood is a form of sleep, a disease of putting off until tomorrow. While, on the other hand, ‘conscious’ hope awakens us and leads to action right now.

The Quran reminds us to have faith and do the actions that bring peace and wholeness to this fractured world. Such action is the result of hope, the fruits of which abide forever.

We are asked: do we merely consume our sources of spiritual knowledge like chewing gum for the thinking mind? Or do we see it as an opportunity to awaken hope, activity and awe?