Thursday, January 19, 2006

This One Hit Me Right Between the Eyes

Faith is something we have to practice. It should shape all our decisions, big or small, at the same time it will usually show in the way we undertake our ordinary daily duties. It is not enough for us to give assent to the great truths of the Creed, to have good formation. We need besides, this to live our faith, to put it into practice. It should give birth to a life of faith, which should be both the fruit and the manifestation of what we believe. God asks us to serve him with the whole of our life, with deeds, with all the strength of our body and soul...

The practice of the virtue of faith in our daily lives adds up to what is commonly known as supernatural outlook. This consists in a way of seeing things, even the most ordinary, apparently quite commonplace things, in relation to God's plan for each person as regards his own salvation and the salvation of many others. It leads us to accustom ourselves to undertake our daily activities as though we were constantly glancing at God to see whether what we are doing is really his Will, whether ours is the way He wants us to do things. It leads us to get used to discovering God in people, to recognize him behind what the world calls chance or coincidence, in fact, to see his mark everywhere (F. Suarez, On being a Priest)...

The Christian's life of faith leads him, therefore, to be a man who has human virtues, because he practices his faith in his ordinary activities. He will not only feel moved to make an act of faith as he sees the walls of a church in the distance, but he will turn to God to ask him for light and help when confronted with a problem at work or at home. He will know how to attune his thinking when he has to accept a setback, when faced with pain or sickness, when offering up some joy, when he continues, for love, the work that he was about abandon through tiredness...
This is from yesterday's devotional reading (ahem ... I'm running late on several things right now), but without daily practice of our faith then what is to distinguish us from anyone else? Nothing. Because if Christ doesn't change our lives and help us to see differently then our faith is nothing but hollow, hypocritical words. And, let me tell you, I fail often but I shudder to think of how little peace I would have if I didn't also succeed at least part of the time in turning to God and living my faith through all the parts of my day.

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