Thursday, October 3, 2013

Are we believers?

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
October 6, 2013

Luke 17:5-10

Jesus had repeated to them on various occasions, "O ye of little faith!" The disciples don't protest. They know he's right. They've been with him quite a while. They see that he's completely given over to God's Plan. He only thinks of doing good; he only lives to make everyone's life more decent and more humane. Will they be able to follow him to the end?

According to Luke, at a given moment, the disciples say to Jesus, "Increase our faith." They feel that their faith is small and weak. They need to trust more in God and believe more in Jesus. They don't understand him very well, but they don't argue with him. They do precisely what's most important: asking him for help to make their faith grow.

The religious crisis of our time doesn't even respect the practicing ones. We talk about believers and non-believers as if they were two well-defined groups: some have faith, others don't. In fact, it's not like that. Almost always, in the human heart, there is both a believer and a non-believer. Therefore, those of us who call ourselves "Christian" should also ask ourselves, "Are we really believers? Who is God for us? Do we love Him? Is it He who runs our lives?"

Faith can weaken in us without any doubts ever assailing us. If we don't nurture it, it can become more and more diluted inside us until it's simply reduced to a habit that we dare not abandon just in case. Distracted by a thousand things, we fail to communicate with God. We practically live without Him.

What can we do? Big things aren't needed really. It's useless for us to set extraordinary goals since we will surely not accomplish them. The first thing is to pray like that stranger who approached Jesus one day and said to him, "I believe, Lord; help my unbelief!". It's good to repeat it with a simple heart. God understands us. He will awaken our faith.

We must not talk with God as if He were outside of us. He is within. The best thing is to close our eyes and be silent to feel and welcome His Presence. Nor are we to entertain ourselves by thinking about Him as if He were just in our head. He is in our innermost being. We must seek Him in our heart.

The important thing is to persist until we have a first experience, albeit a poor one, albeit lasting just for a moment. If some day we realize that we aren't alone in life, if we get that we are loved by God without deserving it, everything will change. No matter that we have been neglecting Him. Believing in God is, above all, trusting in the love He has for us.

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