In So Many Words
During difficult times, we may find ourselves asking, “To what or to whom do we hang on or cling to? What keeps us moving?”
I suppose, it is our faith! We’ve got to believe in something, or someone. For us, Catholics, we believe in God, the God who is full of goodness, mercy and compassion. We believe that something good will come out difficult situations. We don’t know how or when, but we believe. We have faith in our hearts.
I remember a friend who shared with me her struggles to make both ends meet in the family, having a sick husband and a son who became a drug addict. Many of her friends and relatives told her to let go of the son since he was only causing trouble and difficulty. But she said that her son was born out of love, and that she would continue loving him until he was transformed by it. For her, he is a beautiful gift. He was born good. She believed that one day, good would triumph. Every once in a while, her son would become sober and would apologize for the mess he had been causing the family, and every time, she always forgave him and reassured him of her love. At the end of each day, she would thank God for surviving yet another day and prayed that God would always lead the way and give her the strength to love her son without ceasing. It took about 15 years before the son finally decided to quit his drug habit and straighten out his life.
How great was my friend’s joy when that time came! She had faith and was willing to wait, to persevere, to go through the journey with an open heart and mind, willing to welcome newness and participate in the unfolding of each day.
Faith recognizes the good, the true and the beautiful in the person, the whole of humanity, and in creation.
Faith allows my friend and us to move, live and thrive in a world of uncertainties. Faith is not about following blindly. It makes us see more than what meets our eyes. Faith recognizes the good, the true and the beautiful in the person, the whole of humanity, and in creation.
We believe that when we are sleeping our body is at work repairing and restoring whatever was lost or spent during the day; we believe that the seeds we have planted are in the process of growing to become a tree even if we don’t see what’s happening deep down in the soil; we believe in the air even if we don’t see it. Faith is a grace and a gift from God. It’s there for us to receive and nurture.
Faith is not passive. In spite of the uncertain future, it was Mary’s faith, her “Yes,” that has made it possible for God to become one with us in Jesus. Faith moves us to speak, do something and share God’s goodness. This gives hope, brings joy and makes us see beauty amidst all the calamities and difficulties in life. We pray that our faith may continue to increase with the experience of God’s unconditional love in each passing day.
Columban lay missionary Arlenne Villahermosa lives and works in the Philippines.