Faith is an “F” word a lot of us don’t like to use a lot, it’s a word that people can find very offensive. So much so that we seem to find a need to water it down, make it more palatable, easier to swallow. But in doing so we also make is a cheep word, a word with out much meaning.
Faith in others, Faith in ourselves and Faith in Church and God….
Faith in others, is a concept that seems to be lost, we are a people that seem to think we must do it all ourselves, we say things like, “I can’t trust them to do it right”. What we really mean is, “I can’t trust them to do it my way”. We seem to think that our way is the only way, and sometimes that may be, but mostly it is not. We need to learn to trust others, to except that there is more then one way to achieve the same goal. We need to learn to grow from the experience and see things in a different light. Faith in others is Faith in ourselves. By allowing the process to proceed, we will challenge ourselves in ways we never expected. Sure it may be the wrong way, or a different way, but really in the end, does it really matter? No, not really, because we can always re-do it. Life gives us the opportunities of re-do’s so why not take them? This of course is assuming that what ever you did was not life ending. Your ability to discern must be used in all situations. But for the most part what we do an a daily bases is not life ending. Faith in others is the ground work for a life well lived!
Faith in ourselves is something that we sometimes have to much of, we only believe that we can do it, no one or nothing else can do it! We are the only person alive or dead who could ever do this or that! What a sad and silly way to think. Humans are made to work with other humans, we are created to be social, yet we live in a world of individual. As St. Paul tells us, we are one body, many parts but one body. The hand is nothing with out the arm, and so on. Yet we believe we can do it all, with out others. Faith in our selves is important, with in moderation’s, somethings we have to do ourselves, but really, not many. Some will say that we can only fix ourselves, no one else can do it for us. And that is true, to a degree, but really, we can only go so far before we need that outside intervention. The calming words of a friend, or the hug of a child. Each of these outside influences effect us deeply and profoundly. Yet if we close ourselves off to it, keep the mindset that only you can do it, we lose this input, the value of life is diminished. We become “self reliant” and that’s just another word for “Self centered”. If you are self centered, you leave no room for others, so you leave no room for real profound growth. The story of the seeds being scattered on the ground, some in good earth and others in weeds is a good example, self centered people leave no room for good earth, only the weeds of self are allowed to grow. The hermits who live a life of solitude, are not self centered, but rather they are world centered, all they do, is for the betterment of others, not of self.
Faith in Church and God is Paramount to any happiness we wish to achieve. With out this, we cannot have faith in others, nor can we have real faith in self. What we have is a shallow faith that will evaporate very quickly when issues arise in life. Faith in church and God, grounds us, and feeds us so we can believe in self, it gives us the ability to see life through the lens of Christ. Allows us the abilit to Christ in others, to have faith in them. It is also the hardest to achieve, because it calls us to look outside of ourselves, and to depend on the unseen. We are called to let go of self and others, to trust in God, but in doing so, we will be able to truly see others as they are, Christ, and ourselves as we are, Christ. What a gift, what a liberation that would be. But it calls us to a task most of us are not willing to take on. It calls us to be free of self and in doing so, we can be truly self for the first time. Self can not exist outside of God, but rather it is fulfilled in God, when you turn it over to God.
What a concept, by giving ourselves over to God, by having FAITH, we have become a creation that we can have faith in, and we can have faith in others.
But it’s not an easy task, like most things that are good for us. But is is a task that we all should be working towards. We need to start by allowing others to help us along the path (Having Faith in others) and by believing that we can accomplish the task (Having Faith in ourselves) but most importantly we must pray for the grace of God (Having faith in Church and God). We can also pray for the help of the saints (Faith in others and the Church).
So have FAITH, and remember its not the “F” word we should avoid.