Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. MK 16:15-20
Why believe? by Carl Olson at Catholic Answers (sorry this is long, but it has been a topic well worth debating for centuries)
Faith is the Christian word. Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., in his masterful theology of faith, The Assurance of Things Hoped For, writes, “More than any other religion, Christianity deserves to be called a faith” (3). He points out that in the New Testament the Greek words for “faith” and “belief” occur nearly 500 times, compared to less than 100 for “hope” and about 250 for “charity” or “love.” Which is not to say, of course, that faith is more important than love, since Paul makes it clear that love is the greatest of the three theological virtues: “So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).
Do I Trust the Chair? A witticism goes: “Everybody should believe in something; I believe I’ll have another drink.” It is more accurate to say that everybody does believe in something, even if it is belief in the ability to live without belief. Of course, even the skeptic understands that life in the material world requires certain types of belief or faith, using those terms broadly and non-theologically: the belief that stop lights will work correctly, faith that I will be given a paycheck at the end of the month, the trust that my grasp of basic math will keep me on the good side of the IRS.
One argument posits that sitting upon a chair is an act of faith, so even atheists have faith when they sit on a chair in, say, a home they are visiting for the first time. If for some reason I doubted the chair in question would hold my weight, I could ascertain its load-bearing capabilities by asking my host to sit in it first, thereby ridding myself of concern (and likely puzzling or offending my host). The argument only goes so far when it comes to faith in what cannot be seen, touched, or proven by scientific means. It does, however, suggest what many people are reluctant to admit: that all of us have beliefs and we live our lives based on those beliefs, even if we never articulate or define them. As Joseph Ratzinger observes in Introduction to Christianity, “Every man must adopt some kind of attitude to the basic questions, and no man can do this in any other way but that of entertaining belief.” (Introduction to Christianity [2nd ed.], 71)
We, as creatures, have limited, finite knowledge, and so must make decisions—practical, relational, philosophical—without the luxury of proof. We use common sense and rely on our experience and, significantly, on the experience and testimony of others. I may not know for certain that the chair will hold me, but I conclude it is rational to think it will, based on certain observations: The chair looks well-constructed; it appears to be used on a regular basis; and it is in the home of someone who isn’t the sort of person to ask guests to sit on a chair that might fall apart upon human contact. Sitting on the chair is a reasonable thing to do. Implicit here is the matter of trust. Do I trust the chair? Do I trust my host? And, more importantly, do I trust my perception and assessment of the chair?
At the Threshold of Belief Augustine and Aquinas stressed that the object of belief cannot be seen or directly perceived, nor proven by mere logic. If you can prove it, you don’t need to believe in it. And yet, as Josef Pieper explained in his essay, “On Faith,” the believer must know enough about the matter to understand “what it is all about.” An altogether incomprehensible communication is no communication at all. There is no way either to believe or not to believe it or its author. For belief to be possible at all, it is assumed that the communication has in some way been understood. (Faith Hope Love, 24)
God has revealed himself in a way that is comprehensible to man (in an act theologians call “divine condescension”), even if man cannot fully comprehend, for example, the Incarnation or the Trinity. Reason and logic can take man to the door of faith, but cannot carry man across the threshold. “What moves us to believe,” explains the Catechism, “is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: We believe because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived” (CCC 156).
Belief can also rest upon the testimony of someone else, as Paul states: “But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). Aquinas succinctly remarks: “Now, whoever believes, assents to someone’s words…” (Summa Theologiae II:2:11). Pieper points out, however, that this leads to a significant problem: that no man is superior enough spiritually to serve as “an absolutely valid authority” for another man. This problem is only solved when the One who is above all men communicates with man. This communication, of course, reaches perfection in the Incarnation, when God becomes man—that is, when the Word, God’s perfect communication, becomes flesh. And this is why, to put it simply, the historicity of Jesus Christ and the witness of those who knew him is at the heart of the Catholic faith.
Faith is ultimately an act of will, not of emotion or deduction. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, quoting Aquinas, teaches, “In faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace: Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace” (CCC 155). This submission is called “the obedience of faith” (CCC 143). Logic, reason, and recognition of authority go only so far; an act of will, dependent upon God’s grace, is required for faith to be realized. Yet this response of the will is not an impersonal act, like selecting numbers for the lottery, but an intensely personal response. “We believe, because we love,” wrote John Henry Newman in a sermon titled, “Love the Safeguard of Faith against Superstition.” “The divinely enlightened mind,” he continued, “sees in Christ the very Object whom it desires to love and worship,—the Object correlative of its own affections; and it trusts him, or believes, from loving him.”
Today’s challenge: With God’s Divine grace choose with your will to cooperate with His and believe!
Be a servant, Become a saint!
No Bible no breakfast, No Bible no bed. -Fr. Larry Richards
Get caught reading the Bible, praying on your knees, holding a crucifix, and praying the rosary!