Always in need of faith

- Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

"I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mk 9,24) "Increase our faith." (Lk 17,5) These are words spoken by different gospel characters. They are words that we can repeat often if only to remind us that we are always in need of faith.

We can never say that we have enough faith. We should never be complacent in this regard. Faith is an ever-dynamic thing that needs to grow and grow as well as to inspire us more deeply, thoroughly and consistently.

We need to make it grow to cope with our natural needs. In this level alone, we always need faith to make things very clear for us, even if in theory we can handle the natural challenges and difficulties we can encounter in life.

We cannot deny that there are just too many of these natural challenges and difficulties for us to handle with a certain ease and confidence. Especially these days when the pace of development is faster, and the developments themselves are more complicated and tricky, we need the light of faith to see things properly.

Besides, it is faith that gives the ultimate meaning and proper direction to all our human knowledge and endeavors. It is what gives the original perspective to all events, good or bad, in our life. Otherwise, we would end up confused and lost.

We also need to make our faith grow to cope with the multiplying infranatural consequences of our human condition that is weakened by sin. There's no other way to manage and survive the consequences of sin, ours and those of others, personal as well as the collective and structural, than by relying first of all on our faith.

Without faith, we will find no exit, no relief from this wounded status of ours.

That's why St. Paul said: "Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Eph 6,16) Faith holds pride of place in our armory to wage that lifelong battle with our wounded flesh, the temptations of the world, and the tricks of the devil.

Without faith, we would be easy prey to these enemies of our soul. Without it, we most likely would be filled with fear and anxiety, if not sadness and desperation. Faith unites us to the tremendous power of God over any kind of evil, self-inflicted or caused by others.

Thirdly, we need to make our faith grow to cope with the tremendous goal of attaining our supernatural goal in life, that of becoming the true image and likeness of God in which we have been created. Our human and natural powers simply cannot handle this aspiration. It would require nothing less than God's help which starts by giving us the gift of faith which we have to receive and make full use of.

We should not be surprised that life and all the challenges and trials we are going to face in it will always demand from us things beyond our powers and resources. And that's simply because we are meant to go to God for all our needs, without neglecting any effort we can give along the way.

There's no way we can achieve that goal without faith. With God, we have everything. As St. Teresa de Avila would put it: "Solo Dios basta!" (God alone is enough!)

Christ himself said: "Everything is possible for one who believes." (Mk 9,23) With God, nothing is impossible. He actually does not lose battles, even if in our own estimations, he might appear to have lost. What we lack in our humanity, we can always make up by relying always and completely on God.

That is why St. John said in his first letter, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith." (5,4) Thus, before all this exciting drama and adventure of life, our attitude should simply be that of being sporty, based on our faith in God and trust in his all-powerful and merciful providence. This attitude is actually what is presumed every time we enter into some form of commitment, whether to a vocation or work, etc.

[email protected].


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