Two days ago, on October 11, 2012, we began a special chapter in the life of our Church. Pope Benedict XIV declared this year the Year of Faith. What is faith? I asked a few friends and family members how they define it:
*”the grace to believe in what you cannot see”
*”total surrender to God’s Divine Providence”
*”you love God, you believe in Him, you pray” (my seven-year old’s definition)
*”an anchor, an ever-present hope”
*”trusting in the Lord with all your heart”
*a gift from God
Faith is all of these things and so much more! I am so glad that my parents raised me to have faith in God – in Jesus – because without faith, this life would be so much harder to handle. Difficulties would be even harder to rise above – obstacles insurmountable. Thank God for the gift of faith!
There is a whole website dedicated to this Year of Faith. It has an extensive library of information and tools to encourage and enrich us through the upcoming year. Please take a few minutes to explore it.
You know, I keep a jar of mustard seed in my kitchen. Each time I see it, I recall the passage from scripture: The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it would obey you! (Luke 17:16) That’s a sobering thought! As much faith as I believe myself to have, it is still not even as big as the size of those tiny mustard seeds. It means that I have lots of room to grow!
I’ve brainstormed a list of ways that I can grow in my faith (and help my family to do the same) in the upcoming year:
*pray more as a family – ask for greater faith
*receive the sacraments more often
*read more scripture – not just read it – but meditate upon it
*talk to friends about how God has worked in their lives and share how He has worked in mine
*attend a retreat/go hear an inspirational speaker
*take an adult religious ed class sponsored by the archdiocese
*attend adoration more often
*make a conscious effort to “surrender” all to God (as many times a day as it takes!)
Can you think of other ways we could all better dispose ourselves to the gift of faith this year?