It is an interesting occurrence when people declare that they don’t believe in souls. We can’t see them, after all, so how do we know they are there? Well, I can’t see your thoughts or feelings either, so do I have the choice of believing that they exist because they are unseen?
Our souls are the vessels into which God pours his energy and grace. We carry God within us whether we want to or not, whether we are aware of it or not, or even whether we let it change us or not.
I will deal with the actual structure of souls in later posts. There is one thing that nearly always overwhelms me about Christianity. It is what separates us from all other religions. It is the quality of innocence that Jesus brought into the world.
For Jesus, innocence is his freedom from guilt and sin. As this definition cannot apply to us, mere mortals, how does the quality of innocence affect the nature of our souls?
As we mature as Christians and we learn to exercise the muscles of our souls, so to speak, we find in ourselves the ability to consciously cause no harm to another person. This act of turning the other cheek – to take the blow, and without even bringing forgiveness into the moment, to offer the other cheek for yet another blow – is the expression of the light of Jesus that we carry in our souls.
Because the light of Jesus is in our souls, we can sing before our execution in the arena, we can pray as we stand at the stake to be burned, we can endure the loneliness of the prison cell. In short, the quality of innocence gives us the ability to offer our suffering to God to be eased by his love. The gift of innocence gives us the trust in God that we need to live gently in this world.
There are times in our lives when it seems like our innocence is consumed by evil, crushed by the pain we are enduring. And, sometimes, it is. But as Christians, we are able to continually get back on our knees, and, even more importantly, we can pass the light of Christ in our souls to others, even as we perish.