To each of us faith is personal, it’s not something that we can really explain or really even share. Faith is a deep rooted emotion, its controls and is controlled at the same time.
Faith is not something we learn, nor is it something we can teach, it is not static but rather dynamic, and ever changing and growing. It is a living, breathing entity that exists with in you.
Faith is a gift that we receive so we can grow in our love and devotion to God, and faith allows us to receive other gifts from God.
Each one of us has the gift of faith, the only difference between me and you are how we decide to use that gift. Like any gift, left in its package it’s of no use to anyone.
To me, faith is the root of who I am. It is from the root that I grow, both up and down, like a tree whose roots grow deeper in to the soil, establishing a strong root system. A system that protects and feed the tree, and the tree also grows up and out, establishing new limbs and leafs, allowing the tree to absorb the life around it, and offering protection to others and it self. Faith, for me, is the same.
Like a tree, my faith has a root system, firmly planed in the ground of my Catholic faith, with a 2000 year old root system to feed me and secure me. And like the tree, I also grow up and out, branching off in to life, allowing the light and life of the world to feed me. Allowing each new experience to add a leaf to my limb; allowing each new adventure to add new branches, allowing life and light in to my system, feeding me and allowing me to grow. The canopy of my faith also protects others in my charge, and as a Catholic Christian, that is all of creation. Offering protection and cover; warmth and nourishment; offering the love of God and the heart of Christ, all under the canopy of faith that we created from our life experiences based in the root of our faith. The canopy also protects us, as we lead our way through life, through the winds of change, our canopy helps us deflect and bend as needed to remain strong and standing. The storms of life are kept from our vulnerable selves by leafs and branches we have created during our life.
And when the storms and winds of life relent, if our root system was strong and our canopy was full, we will exit with a few less leafs and maybe a missing limb or too, but all-in-all we will still be a strong tree, rooted in our faith, growing and reaching both, in to our past and in to our future.
Our faith will have helped us to weather life’s storms and dry spells; it will shelter us from the killing heat and the drowning waters. The gift of faith is a gift of true life, the gift of eternal life and a gift of complete and unconditional love.
Faith is given freely, but we must feed it, nurture it, and help it to grow, new faith, like a young tree, is fragile. Its roots are new and not established; its canopy is young and inexperienced. With out the tender care of you, the tree will die, and with out your care and love for your faith, it too will die.
Faith is like a tree, it takes time to establish a good root system, years to grow a canopy to protect others, and it self. But like a good tree, once it is established, it will keep growing.