Developing an operative faith
We should be concerned about this matter. Our faith should not remain only in the theoretical, intellectual level. It has to be a functioning one, giving shape and direction in our thoughts and intentions, our words and deeds. In fact, it should shape our whole life.
The ideal is that we feel it immediately. Indeed, it should be like an instinct such that whatever we think, say or do, or whenever we have to react to something, it is our faith that should guide us. We have to understand that it is our faith that gives us the global picture of things, since it is God’s gift to us, a gratuitous sharing of what God knows about himself and about the whole of creation. It is meant for our own good, for us to live out our true dignity as children of God.
It is a kind of knowledge that will lead us to our eternal life. It will make us relate everything in our earthly life, both the good and the bad, to this ultimate goal in life which is to be in heaven with God, a state that is supernatural. But it is a divine gift that we need to take care of. It is like a seed that has to grow until it becomes a big tree and bears fruit.
For this, we really need to have a living contact with Christ who is the fullness of God’s revelation to us. He is the substance, the content and the spirit of our faith. So, the first thing that we have to do is to look for him always in whatever thing we are thinking, saying or doing. We need to check our attitudes and dispositions. Do we really look for him, in the manner spelled out by Christ himself, that is, with constancy and determination? Christ said: “Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mt 7,7)
What obviously would help is the habit of reading and meditating on the gospel, at least for a few minutes everyday. In that way, we get to know Christ better, and to familiarize ourselves with his words, deeds and reactions to the different situations he encountered. Let’s remember that since he is “the way, the truth and the life,” everything in him will always be a guide to us. Besides, Christ himself wants to identify himself completely with us by becoming and offering the “Bread of Life” to us. Do we realize that we have to avail ourselves of the Holy Eucharist as the prime source of our duty to identify ourselves also with him, he who is actually the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity?
We have to realize that the ideal bearing and outlook we ought to have is something spiritual and supernatural. We have to be wary of getting stuck in the level of our senses and emotions, in the level of our physical and material world, or in the level of our intellectual world, of our sciences, ideologies and technologies that are not yet inspired by faith. We have to make many acts of faith during the day, so that our faith would really become operative. We should devise some plan to accommodate the requirements in developing a living faith. Our lifestyle should be eminently marked by our faith.