Faith. I think about my Catholic faith everyday. It’s part of my job, my gallery wall, and my car. It’s obvious in the crucifix I wear, the books I read, my bumper stickers, music choices, and social media presence. But it’s easy for faith to become automatic for me, to forget to have a deep appreciation for the gift of faith, and to neglect to translate that into concrete action.
C.S. Lewis touches on this in the book Mere Christianity: [To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.
Do you go through the motions like me sometimes, forgetting the gleam of heaven? It can easily happen during my commute when I say the rosary sometimes absentmindedly, or even when attending mass. Reading C. S. Lewis’ essay The Weight of Glory last year reminded me about heaven, though. How it is our home, and the world is our ship like St. Therese of Lisieux said. It’s a very fabulous ship sometimes, but we’re in this because we choose to believe in what we cannot see, an eternal world we have faith is waiting for us to choose to step toward each day.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr. said. Do you hesitate when you don’t know the future, or get frustrated and put up your own ladder to take control?
“The giant step in the walk of faith is the one we take when we decide God no longer is a part of our lives. He is our life.” Beth Moore pointed out. Is that what your life looks like? What rules your schedule, heart, and mind?
Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church recognizes that faith is more than a personal belief and has to be translating into action (see paragraphs 1814-1816). And the Book of James tells us that faith without works is dead. It’s a serious deal, all things considered. I feel a great personal responsibility to ensure my life reflects the faith I hold so deeply. However, this is not something I have figured out, so take heart if you want to get better at it too.
“Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” C.S. Lewis tells us in Mere Christianity. And how true is that? Many of us start with intellectually knowing about our faith, but I hope that over time we can enter more deeply into relationship with God, thus more closely conforming our lives in every way to how He calls us to live regardless of how we’re feeling. The joy of having this solid foundation is a true gift.
Faith is knowing someone we can’t see, believing in what He teaches us, and hoping one day to be with Him forever. May the faith we know first intellectually make its way to our hearts and hands one day at a time.
Want more of our perspectives on faith this month? Read Annie’s take about times when faith is fragile.