For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.
– 1 John 5:4
There came a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and besought him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And He stretched out his hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him.
– Luke 5:12-13
|Blue Heron nest|
One of my readers, Ride, asked me a question about how to respond to non-believers. And especially those that mock the faith.
My answer was not to try to reason with them, but to ask them about their own personal experiences with religion and spirituality in their lives.
I'm not one that is attracted by the works of Christian apologists. They attempt to provide a rational argument for belief in Christ and His Church. There is nothing wrong with their arguments, but I don't think that faith can ever be acquired through reason.
In order to take the "leap of faith" we must be willing to stop clinging to our own personal egotistical belief systems, which prevent us from surrendering to God's will.
One of the temptations that Christ faced in the desert was to throw himself off of a precipice to prove that the angels would come to His rescue and keep Him from crashing to earth. Christ refused. Not because He had any doubt in the capacity of God's angels to save Him, but because it would have been a meaningless and self serving demonstration of His faith in God.
But at some point in our lives we all need to walk out on the precipice and let go of all our worldly attachments and allow ourselves to continue over the edge. Knowing that we are leaping into the loving and merciful arms of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And as we leap we need to say, "Jesus, I trust in You!" These are the words of Divine Mercy that were revealed to Sister María Faustina Kowalska. A simple nun with little education.
The hurdles and obstacles that stand in our way – that keep us from accepting the faith – are not rational ones. They may appear that way. And rational arguments may be successful in lowering some of those hurdles so that they are easier for us to clear.
But without a full act of submission to the power of God, those hurdles will always remain and we will constantly trip over the same unseen obstacles.
Picture a fledgling bird in the nest preparing to take its first flight. It has to trust in a power higher than itself that it will not go crashing to the ground. As it approaches the edge and looks down from a great height, it cannot help but feel a paralyzing fear.
The Virgin Mary was faced with such a moment when the archangel Gabriel appeared before her. Her response was to submit fully to God's will. She said, "I am the handmaid of the Lord." Which can also be translated as "I am the Lord's servant." (Luke 1:38)
Mary said "Yes." And her life was forever changed.
With faith, the hurdles and the obstacles disappear as we soar above them. They are still there, but they become irrelevant small specks in the distance below.
The only way to come to faith is through a personal acceptance of God in our lives. We must first understand how He is calling us. And then respond to that call. There are times in all of our lives when we have felt a closeness to God. It is a matter of recognizing those moments and events, and accepting them for what they are.
God has a plan for each and every one of us. We are all God's children. We are all called to greatness. Our lives are touched by His hand. He showers graces upon us.