02 September 2010

The Gift of Faith

What is important above everything else, first and foremost, is faith: faith in the reality of the divine presence in and around us, bringing the acts of our will and mind up to the level of the true life to which Our Lord is calling us. This act of faith, which transforms our destiny from a purely human one to one truly divine, is painful to nature, and calls for a heroism of which we would not be capable had not God already given us the grace to make the initial effort and maintain it. Utterly incapable ourselves of making this first act, we could not do better than say with the father of the sick child: Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief ~ Saint Mark 9:23.

It is faith that gives us the assurance of the divine promises: I will espouse you to Me in faith ~ Hosea 2:20. It is faith that makes us walk in its obscurity in this life: For we walk by faith ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7. From start to finish we shall follow that way, ever on the alert lest we stray from it, enticed all too readily by lights too human, which will quickly leave us disillusioned.

Faith is a strict guide but an infallible one. It knows no concessions, makes no calculations, hesitates before no obstacles. Under the veil of appearances it discerns even now the eternal truth, the victory of Christ: This is the victory which overcomes the world, our faith ~ 1 Saint John 5:4. It hopes despite all the human factors which seek to moderate or destroy its enthusiasm, even as the Apostle says of Abraham: He staggered not by distrust, but was strengthened in faith; he hoped against hope ~ Romans 4:18-20. Faith is at the root of all Our Lord’s teaching; to doubt is to grow weak. O you of little faith, why did you doubt? ~ Saint Matthew 14:31. By faith we are saved. Our Lord even attributed the miracles He wrought for those He cured, to their faith. One tiny spark of faith is enough to transform spiritually the whole world. I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . nothing shall be impossible to you ~ Saint Matthew 17:19.

In short, we must learn to place all our trust in God. These are the words that mark the boundary line which we must cross unhesitatingly and in all simplicity if we would follow Christ.

Faith is the principle of this life; and when divine grace has finished its work in us, it is this same supernatural certitude which, having filled our whole being, will raise therein a temple of love, according to the words of Saint Paul: Faint works by charity ~ Galatians 5:6 and Christ will dwell by faith in your hearts, making known to you the superabundant love of God, which surpasses all knowledge ~ cf. Ephesians 3:17-19.

~ Dom Jean-Baptiste Porion ~