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Monday, June 17, 2013

The spirit of faith

 by Barbara A. Schoeneberger

The Repentant Peter - El Greco, 1600
The Repentant Peter by El Greco (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Discovering God in everything – what a daunting task! Most of us consider it impossible, which says a lot more about where we are on the path to sainthood than about God’s accessibility to His creatures.

In meditation #163 of Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. teaches us about faith:

Faith is not limited to knowing God in Himself as the Trinity; it makes us see Him also in all creatures, in all circumstances of our life, since He is always present everywhere by His providential action.  [He is revealing Himself through the supremely difficult people in our lives, on those days when multiple things go wrong and it seems as if a dark cloud is over our heads, in the chronic illnesses, pain, and psychological disturbances most people eventually suffer if they live long enough. He is present when we suffer injustice and persecution from our governments and are victims of corporate and individual sins.]

God knows creatures as they exist in relation to Himself; and faith, showing creatures to us as dependent upon God, makes us, in this way, see and judge them somewhat as God Himself sees and judges them.

Faith teaches us that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in the world which is not subject to divine control. It is true that God cannot will evil; and therefore He does not will sin or its consequences, such as injustice, litigation, war; but He does  permit them, simply to safeguard the liberty of His creatures. [God cannot will evil because, being all-perfect, He cannot go against His nature. His perfect love accepts only love freely given to Him and so, if someone chooses not to love Him, He will not stand in the way of that person's unloving heart.]

However, He sometimes intervenes in situations, even in those caused by sin, so as to make everything enter into His divine plan, which is ordained for His own glory and the salvation and sanctification of souls. My spirit of faith must be so real that it will convince me that no circumstance, either in my private life or in my relations with others, escapes God’s jurisdiction, which is so wise that it can draw good even out of evil. Consequently, I can see nothing apart from God; I can find Him in any person, in any situation.

Continue reading about faith at  Suffering with Joy.

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