On faith and pilgrimage

”They call themselves believers and thereby signify that they are pilgrims, strangers and aliens in the world. Indeed, a staff in the hand does not identify a pilgrim /…/  as definitely as calling oneself a believer publicly testifies that one is on a journey, because faith simply means: What I am seeking is not here, and for that very reason I believe it.

Faith expressly signifies the deep, strong, blessed restlessness that drives the believer so that he cannot settle down at rest in this world, and therefore the person who has settled down completely at rest has also ceased to be a believer, because a believer cannot sit still as one sits with a pilgrim’s staff in one’s hand – a believer travels forward.”

–    Søren Kierkegaard, from Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits

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