Saturday, November 25, 2006

Finding Faith

How does one go about developing their faith in God? Oh, I know you can pray for faith, but what happens when you pray and your faith seems to diminish? I know I probably don't pray enough or do enough to warrant an increase. I suppose desire simply isn't enough.

I do have faith in God. I believe in Him, His laws, and His will. I can certainly know that just because things don't go my way that it's probably not in God's will, but what happens when you have no idea as to what His will is? Why is it that you question your faith more in times of trouble and sadness instead of leaning more on it?

Sometimes I feel I'm still not doing enough despite going to Church multiple times a week, singing in the choir, and praying. Maybe it's simply that the "honeymoon stage" is over. Now I'm left with actually living out my faith, which I try to do, but it's difficult when you are questioning it. I don't question my belief in God or the Church. I just wonder if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I still feel that my faith is very limited. I feel like I'm overwhelmed with other responsibilities and I can't ever catch up and take the time to put more into it.

I don't expect answers and I know that I should pray more... the problem for me is the difference between knowing and actually doing.


Anonymous said...

May I suggest that faith has at its essence faithfulness.
Being steadfast does include going to Mass when you don't want to; making even minimal time for prayer in your hectic schedule and trying the extra degree of patience when you are really tired and depressed.
We cannot judge the depth of our faith by our moods. This is important.
It might sound sad but the reality is that the more we attempt to practice Christian virtues the more we fail; the more we try to be good the more we realise how bad we really are.
Why is this so? Are we doomed to fail? I think the problem is inherently that we are trying to reach heaven by our individual merits and to that extent it is somewhat a matter of pride. We would like to think that we can approach the Almighty with some strength but He wants to work with our weakness.
After an inspiring homily perhaps we are ready to carry our cross into the next week but a day or two later we might find ourselves lacking in one or more of the virtues.
(Lord, grant me patience...but hurry).

Perservenance should not be underestimated. Take a very long walk through the hills and you will find times when it is a bit boring, your feet might hurt, it starts to rain or is too hot, the insects bite, it is too steep, you get gravel in your footware, you suffer a cramp, you twist your ankle...and at the end of the toil you might not even have enjoyed it (though it now appears not so bad after all) but the point is you made it.
Did you?
Did you control the blood circulating in your body? Did you create the oxygen? Did you convert food into energy? Did you invent balance? Did you organize vision?

There really was only one thing you did- willed to complete the journey.

I tire and cannot complete this adequately. What conclusion should I reach?

Greg (Australia)

Chris said...

I'd like to recommend a couple of books, if I can.

First, there is "Knowing God's Will for Your Life" by St. France de Sales available here.

Next, I'd suggest "Dark Night of the Soul" by St. John of the Cross available here.

If I can think of more books that would be of help to you in your current situation, I'll let you know.

In the meantime, please continue to pray. Pray more! Pray the rosary and ask Our Lady to grant you the grace necessary to grow in your faith.

Neither she or Our Lord would ever let you down. God bless.

Cura Animarum said...

I know exactly how you feel sometimes and the funny thing is, most people we might point to and say "There's a faithfilled person", or there or there, would all be able to empathize with you. (Read some St. John of the Cross, or Thomas Merton other mystics sometime. Heck even Mother Teresa wrote in her journal that she soetimes wondered if there was a loving God at all). It seems that the lot of the children of God is to forever wonder at his presence in the here and now.

There's a great article on this very topic that I came across just recently;

Faith Means God Is With Us

Sometimes it's not so much that God is not with us, but that the God that is with us, is not the God we were expecting.

I hope that this helps in some way. I'd be willing to answer any other questions you might have or just to serve as someone to 'bounce things off of' if you ever needed to. I help people on these kinds of journeys all the time.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Try the Rosary - it takes 15 minutes to say, and it made SUCH a difference in my life and in the life of many other Catholics I know.

Anonymous said...

If you liked Mark Link's books you will probably like this website containing some of his more recent works.