Growing in Faith
I have a have personal responsibility for my own journey of faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of a “faith that seeks understanding. It is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what the Lord has revealed. A more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love.”
We are warned that while faith is “an entirely free gift that God gives to a person, we can lose this priceless gift. To live, grow and persevere in the faith to the end we must nourish it, and beg God to increase our faith.”
Jesus calls us to love God “with our whole mind.” An Irish Cistercian nun writes: “For me the surest path to contemplation does not involve emptying my mind but rather filling my mind with the marvels that God has done for us in Jesus. Reflection on the mystery of Christ is for me the surest path to praise, thanksgiving and contemplation. Using my mind, not suppressing it, leads to prayer and union with God.”
Many of us discover as we get older that the certain understandings that guided our youth are insufficient to light the next stage of our life. Many would like their faith to be deeper, better informed, richer. They realise it needs to grow more mature or to be purified of alien elements so that they can live it more faithfully and help steady their uncertain steps.
St Paul tells the Christians in Corinth: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in faith. Test yourselves.” But then he adds, “Do you not realise that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corithians13:4). Our faith can only become what it is meant to be when we realise how magnificently Christ is in us, unceasingly inviting us to respond to the grace of the Spirit.
Then during this Year of Faith we can be gifted with a faith that is living, lived and life-giving.