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Last updated 6-8-13





The Catechism says that faith is believing all that the Catholic Church teaches is revealed by God.  The Church teaches that Jesus is the fullness of all revelation.  Faith is an infused grace, a free gift from God.  Faith is received in Baptism when the life of God, sanctifying grace, is infused in us. 



As long as we remain in a state of grace, that is as long as we refrain from mortal sin, we have faith.  Faith is believing without seeing.  In other words faith is believing what is true, because it is true, not because it feels good or feels right or because it is the most popular opinion, or because it has been proven.  St. Thomas says no man believes unless he wills to believe.

St. Joseph

Think of St. Joseph.  When he realizes Mary is with child, he comes to a moment of great trial, his own night of faith.  Mary does not tell him a thing to explain.  He prays but God seems silent and does not tell him anything to console him.  There isn't a reasonable explanation for what he has observed through his senses.  Yet he knows She is very virtuous.  How can someone who in all ways is obviously perfect in virtue be in the predicament She is in?  Here lies the temptation for Joseph.  In his night of faith where there is no extraordinary grace from God, does he judge with purely empirical evidence or does he judge by faith. 

Here, the scientific method fails to bring Joseph to the truth and he judges erroneously.  He judges solely by what his senses tell him.  Nevertheless, he is a just man and can't bring himself to have Her stoned to death as the law prescribes and decides to divorce Her quietly.  "For the just man is a law unto himself."  Yet the Father does not judge him severely, for on the eve before his departure, he receives a visit from an angel simply telling him to not fear taking Mary for his wife, (they were already legally betrothed so a divorce decree would have been necessary to nullify the marriage contract), for the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph obeys and his night of faith is over.


Seeking Truth

While He was on earth our blessed Lord said, will I find any faith on earth when I return?  It seems obvious to me that He was suggesting that there may not be, that in the times before His return, people in general, would suffer to a great degree a lack of faith.  Our society seems to teach in all of its structures to only believe what we can reason out ourselves, as if we are capable of reasoning out every truth in existence.  Even though faith and reason can not truly oppose each other since revealed truth is logical, at least to God himself, who is the revealer of all truth and is Truth itself; faith is still greater than reason and man was made to subject his intellect to all truth that is proposed to him.  Our Lord said as well, "he who seeks the truth hears my voice."  It follows then that we must first be seekers of truth, we must even love truth, above that self-love which seeks only self preservation, comfort and consolation, and to pacify our own ego.  We must then will to believe what is true and then will to consent to it. This also means that we can't be attached to our intellect's ability to reason.  If our intellect becomes an obstacle to our ability to consent to what is true, then it is no longer our servant but our master and we are enslaved.  Therefore, our main obstacle to faith and consequently faithfulness, is our own will.

Attachment to Feelings

If we have difficulty with a teaching of the church, it is because we can't accept on faith something that opposes that to which we are at least subconsciously attached.  That attachment pulls at us, usually in the form of a feeling, which rises up in us as an aversion to that which is proposed to us.  In other words we put faith in the feeling and what it means to us, rather than put our faith in God who cannot lie and whose words give us life, and who speaks to us through the teaching authority of the Church.  We must will to desire, we must choose to want, what is true above and beyond all other desires and preferences.  This does not in any way hinder or demean our free will.  Since our free will is by its very nature ordered to truth and the good of our soul, our dignity reaches its fullness of perfection when we will to choose freely to consent to truth, accept it as truth in our conscience and obey our conscience.  Opposing our feelings when they contradict our will to choose what is good for our souls, can't harm us in any way.  I do not mean we should repress our feelings in order to make this choice.  Rather, I mean we should allow for them and choose to obey our conscience in opposition of them.  This is heroic virtue.  In fact the more we act this way we develop a habit of it, and the greater our habit, the less our feelings will have the ability of swaying our behavior.

Personal Thoughts

I can't possibly express in words, although I'm going to try anyway, the heroic efforts on the part of my co-founders these last 10 years in particular.  They have lived on faith without exterior signs, community life, a place.  They have had to not believe their feelings when everything around them says "nothing is happening."  They have held fast to their vocation, through their consecration to Our Lady.  They have given up everything to be a part of this founding, which like all foundings, has been a full share in the Cross of Christ and His mother.  They have my utmost admiration and respect for their respective fiats.  When I go to my judgment, I will say, this is what I did with what you gave me, and I will show Him them.

Br. Mariamartin de la Cruz  S.D.B.V.  General Steward

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