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Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Faith: Believing when It Does Not Make Sense

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen.
Hebrews 11:1-2
My life these past few months is very difficult. There were times of hopelessness. There were also times of immense hope, a feeling of confidence in the Lord. Surprisingly, I was told that this roller coaster feeling is very normal! 

There was once, when I was so frustrated that things seemed so dark. I felt so helpless AND hopeless that there seemed to be no end to my situation. My prayer was very dry. Even reading scripture was difficult, very often distracting. God was no where to be seen and God seemed absent. When I read about God's love, there was a feeling of doubt. Is this true? Why am I suffering? Why does he not answer? There was this feeling of regret, that I have wasted my chance. There was even a time when I felt that the Lord was my enemy. He was going against me - frustrating all my plans.

Yet, it was in one of these times that a greater revelation came. It was during communion that a thought came to me. Do I really believe that the bread I received was indeed the real Body of Jesus?
The answer was simple, of course! Why would I be receiving him if I did not believe in it?
Another thought then came, how do you know? It looks like bread, it tastes like bread, it feels like bread. How sure are you that this is the real body of Jesus?
I then realized that this is faith. To believe even if things are not what they seem. St. John of the Cross said that faith is the blindness of the senses. When we cannot see - yet believe, that is faith. When things do not make sense, and yet we believe, that it faith. When things are dark and dry, when God seems far away, even absent, when he seemed to be fighting against us, yet we believe in his goodness and love, that is faith!
Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39: For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, nor any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When things do not make sense, when we suffer for no fault of ours, when things are dark – that is when we have to force ourselves to believe. This is the time when God is teaching us about faith. This is the time when we will experience what faith really is - it is to prove the reality of something we do not see.

May the Lord give us the grace to cling to him when things do not make sense.

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