Reflections On The Journey
|Posted on April 8, 2021 at 7:45 PM|
We just celebrated Easter Sunday – I am so grateful that Jesus suffered and died on Good Friday, and then rose and conquered death, all to save me and you from our sins. I wish you all many blessings in this Easter season!
How is your faith doing these days?
For those of you who are “serious” prayers of the rosary, you are probably aware of the three Hail Mary beads at the beginning. When I was young, I was taught that while praying on those beads you remembered the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. I still remember these virtues as I pray the rosary. Since I am praying the rosary a bit more often these days, I decided that my next three reflections will be about these virtues.
This week’s virtue is Faith. I sometime think of it as my “patron” virtue, because one definition of my name is faith or belief. The Oxford American Dictionary presents as its first definition of faith "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."
I think humans are believers spontaneously, instinctively, naturally. For what do we know which we have not acquired by faith? Humans spend years in school learning and then believing in an abundance of things. We often believe based on the words and demonstrations from someone whose judgment and integrity we trust, and we have faith that what we believe is true.
For example, I believe that a rock will fall to the ground if I let it go, because I believe in gravity. So I can easily have faith that if I let go of another rock, it too will fall to the ground.
But when it comes to belief in less tangible things, that’s harder. For example, I can’t see God. So far I haven’t come across any scientific proofs that God exists. So my faith in God is based on other things that I have learned and read about from trusted sources. I believe also that my faith is “supernatural” in the sense that my faith is a gift given to me by God. This faith allows me the freedom to believe that He exists and has my best interests in mind.
The Bible and our history books are filled with people who had faith in something, whether it was faith in God or faith in some ideal. And many have kept their faith in spite of serious challenges. Take Abraham – he faithfully took his son Isaac up the mountain to become a human sacrifice because God asked him to, even though it seemed like he would lose his son. Abraham had faith that God would honor His promise. The Acts of The Apostles too records numerous incidents where the faithful disciples put their very lives on the line in faith to proclaim the Good News.
Yet many people also doubt. Countless authors have written on this subject over the centuries. Some prime examples are found in our Bible: Remember when the Israelites had trouble keeping their faith in Moses and God’s command when they kept wandering in the desert with no place to call home?
Faith is challenging for many people right now, too. Everyone also has to deal with troubles: a family member gets sick, our spouse loses their job, or something else happens and suddenly our world is not so secure anymore. We look at all the tragedy in the world and we wonder why it happens, and continues to happen, with little relief in sight. It becomes hard to trust that things will work out yet easy to blame God for not righting the situation. It’s hard to keep the faith when we do not know the outcome. When we cannot see how a particular problem can possibly be resolved, it is a struggle to maintain faith.
I have to admit that on some days I feel a strong lack of faith. It is easy to doubt God’s presence, His goodness, or His ability to answer my prayers. But at the end of the day, I look around and realize that I have been blessed in numerous ways, even though I still have worldly problems. There is much good in the world. When tragedies strike, there are always people who continue to have faith - they do not give up but instead just dig in to help. There must be something behind all those people and their good actions – and I believe that something is faith.
As a disciple of Christ, I must not only keep the faith and live it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it. I know at times that will be challenging, but this is my call as his disciple, and I hope that my writings can help spread true faith in God.
St. Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” I pray that you may have a strong faith. May you believe in the goodness of God and the gifts he has given to you, no matter what your circumstances may be. Remain strong in your faith, and eventually you will see what you believe!
When preparing my book “Reflections on The Journey: Living The Rosary,” I wrote reflections for each of the prayers said during the Rosary, and I also wrote some short reflections on the three theological virtues. My gift to you today is this one on Faith.
Faith is our deep belief in God, that God is one in Three;
And other truths from Mother Church, revealed for us to see.
In humble love our Jesus came,
To save and set us free.
Here now we know that God is love; He came to earth for me.
Have a blessed Monday!
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Categories: Inspiration, Poetry