This past week the theme of our annual retreat was the gift of faith with our retreat master’s conferences based on the Pope’s newest encyclical Lumen Fidei – the Light of Faith. (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20130629_enciclica-lumen-fidei_en.html) It is hard to describe how wonderful was the retreat – so many thoughts to think about, to pray about.
Most of us, I am sure, have faith IN God. But, sometimes we have a hard time BELIEVING God! There is a difference. To believe God is to believe His promises, the way He teaches us in Sacred Scripture, the ways He shows us how much He loves us and how we can trust Him. He told Saint Faustina Kowalska how much it hurts Him when we don’t trust Him. Trusting Him is so important to Him that he gave her specific instructions on how a painting of Him should be done, with rays of light pouring from His Sacred Heart. The painting includes the words, “Jesus I trust in you.”
It is not always easy to exercise our gift of faith. We are human beings and from early childhood others have not always been faithful to us – perhaps our parents, other relatives, teachers, close friends. Chances are some of us have been hurt by someone or something that damaged our faith. (For example, it is often difficult to believe in God the Father’s love for us when our earthly fathers have let us down.) Also, we are part of an “instant” generation so that when we ask for something we need to have it right away. We don’t want to be that way – it is just that our culture has us wired that way. And, sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want Him to. He hears us always but His ways are not always our ways. Or perhaps we have been too hurt by the circumstances of our life and are too angry or weary to have faith.
Look at the Crucifix and see how much God loves us. He laid down His life, poured out His life, because He loves us. How can we not trust Him? Here is an article written by Father Roger Landry on the encyclical Lumen Fidei. Perhaps it will help to nourish your faith. If you have time, even if it takes a whole year, try to read the Encyclical. It is beautiful – it is anointed by the Holy Spirit! http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/why-the-world-needs-lumen-fidei/
Lord Jesus, I do believe! Help my unbelief!