If we all earned a dollar every time we heard the exhortation, "Have faith," our wallets would overflow with cash. Sometimes, it seems a lot easier to talk about faith than to have it. Even the disciples of Jesus struggled. In Luke 17:5, recognizing their poverty of faith, the disciples begged the Lord to, "Increase our faith!"
Belief in Truth Unseen
On one hand, we get the message that we can generate true faith in God from within. On the other, we quickly realize that we cannot, that we first need to receive some measure of faith as a supernatural gift from God. Or, for those who were baptized as babies, we need our repository of faith, deposited at baptism, to be effectively cultivated and grown.
As creatures uniquely created with flesh, ignorant of all things until our senses perceive them, and with the light of intellect, by which to understand truth based on the testimony of others, grace can lead us to a sure belief in God and to desire His benefits. But it's only at baptism that we receive the special gift of supernatural faith. It is only by way of this theological virtue of faith that we can become like little children in the eyes of God. As Jesus explained in Matthew 18:3, "Unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." In other words, the gift of faith enables us to approach the Lord like an innocent child again and be lifted onto His lap. Resting our heads on His breast, we can then listen to His heartbeat. The gift of faith overcomes our senses that cannot perceive God and enables a personal, one-on-one relationship with Him.
Faith Trusts in God's Mercy and Promises
Because the universe grandly displays its Creator, from the tiniest grain of sand to the most distant star, we can believe in God rather easily. However, when we look in the mirror at the handiwork that proves God, we recall faulty behavior that we believe should make God turn from us in revulsion. It is a reasonable contemplation. However, when we seek and receive God's gift of supernatural faith, we gain the ability to understand and trust in the divine mercy that He can't wait to pour out upon us.
Faith infuses us with deep repentance and the humility to recognize that we possess no power of our own to do which is good and right. Faith also fills us with the knowledge of His genuine, fatherly love and that He really does forgive us no matter what we've done. It grants us a future beyond this world where all things have been made right. Fortunately for us, God never turns away. He always stands ready to fill with the virtue of faith for those who yearn for it.
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