Community of the Sisters of the Church

Faith

7 February 2010

‘Lord’, we say; not knowing who or what we’re talking to but willing to believe something; bewildered by everything, hoping for anything to validate our being in a world that makes no sense, as we make no sense, unless it and we are yours.  (W S Beattie)

Faith is a strange thing.  We can’t prove what we have faith in, yet we work hard at sharing our faith.  Faith in One who is not always visible, is not flesh and blood as we are, and yet . . .  But then, even when He is visible there is a struggle with faith, as the disciples discovered in a moment of desperation:-

They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’  And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm.  He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’  Luke 8

Sometimes we wish for signs or portents that are immediately visible.  But why look far away for what is so close at hand?  (Br Roger, Taize)

How do we rationalise our faith?  How do we share something we can’t see?  How do we demonstrate the love God has for us when we can’t touch it?  The questions are often endless when we are in moments of doubt, uncertainty, desperation, anxiety, fear.  And yet words can move from being a burden to a comfort . . .  words . . .  

Strange paradox of faith – it fluctuates, yet at its very core perpetuates itself – so if we try to struggle free, the more enmeshed we know ourselves to be.  Margaret Connor

It is so often when in times of extreme trial: war, disaster, illness that our faith is tested.  It is in those moment that we forget that God is with us, carrying us, sheltering us, crying with us, that our faith seems to evaporate.  When we need this un-tangible thing the most, it deserts us and fear takes over.

But does it?  Is it not then that we are strengthened in our faith.  Is it not when someone is dying that we experience Christ’s hands at work in those who are caring for our loved ones?  Is it not in war that we hear the voice of Christ in that individual who speaks out for peace?  Is it not in disaster that we see Christ at work in the many who drop everything to help?  

They went to him and woke him up, shouting, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’  And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm.  He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’  Luke 8

It is our fear, not our lack of faith, that sometimes overwhelms us.  So, “let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.”  Rabindranath Tagor, India

Teresa Mary CSC