During the Advent season, we celebrate the qualities of faith, hope, love, and joy. Yet these must be viewed through the prism of paradox.

No Faith is worthy without the capacity to doubt all things—for then it is only credulity.

No Hope is possible without the specter of defeat in the wings—for then it is only dreaming.

No Love is strong without the dread of loss in the heart—for then it is only passion.

No Joy is complete without the certainty of sorrow in the future—for then it is only frivolity.

Thus, it is wrong to mislead people with simplistic notions, for they distract us from the fullness of life. After all, the seas have storms, the clouds have lightning, and the roses have thorns—forever.