I’m sitting here on my back porch, relatively early in the morning for me at least. You’ve heard the phrase “drinking in the loveliness of the morning”? Well, that’s me at this moment. It’s almost cool for the first of September, a little overcast, breezy. I look at my flower beds, the pergola the hubs built for me, the wisteria that has decided after 17 years that it wants to relocate. Hanging baskets on the porch. Rocking chairs waiting for someone to put them in motion. Wind chimes whispering, not full throated as they were designed, but quietly as if somehow they don’t want to disturb the peace of the morning. You may think I’m nuts but I feel the presence of the Lord. Yes I do. Body, soul and spirit. The love. He is love. It’s almost like heaven.
I need this right now, this beauty, this peace, this love. Isn’t He wonderful?
This morning I want to talk about faith. I’ve been exercising mine a lot lately. I’ve had to draw on it pretty regularly and I’ve come to think of it in a different way than I have before. It was a remark made by a very compassionate priest to my husband while he was in the hospital this past week. I wasn’t in the room but the hubs told me later. Apparently, my man said something to him about me. Father Bill told him that I have a great faith. Who, me? Hmm. He doesn’t know how I really am, does he? I don’t know the man well enough for him to see me in the throes of a tap-dancing fit, or having an all-holier -than-thou attitude. Father Bill doesn’t know I am frustrated, fearful, angry, selfish, self-centered, my moral compass askew at times. Trying to be strong and missing the mark. How strange. This man of God thinks I have great faith and my husband agrees. Lord, I’ve got a lot to work on. How do I live up to that?
I will say this: I do love the Lord. He has shown me His love by saving me from many perils; health issues, calamities, and indeed, from my own foolishness. And you know what? He doesn’t have to prove His love to me. For heaven’s sake, He is God. But He does, He wants to. He envelopes me with His love. He is always there when I need Him. I talk to Him and I try to listen to Him. He speaks to me through many different avenues – His Word, people he puts in my path, the beauty of sitting on my back porch. Many different avenues. I, the one who rarely trusts anyone, feel the pull to completely trust Him. He has an uncanny way of revealing Himself to those who are open to Him. I like to think I am. I get in my own way sometimes and am not as alert to Him as I should be, but I try.
Is this faith? Maybe. But you know what? I don’t want to have faith. I want to be faith. I want to have the fortitude not to ever doubt that my various situations in life are part of His will for me. I want to trust without question, not constantly have to learn to trust. I want to be faith enough to not have that knee-jerk reaction of fear every time my world cracks a bit and threatens to fall apart. I want to be faith enough to be kind and loving, to help others find peace, to not think of myself first. I am not skilled in any of those attributes but I’m trying. It’s going to take a lifetime for me to reach that pinnacle, if I ever do.
Have you ever thought about these things or am I just weird? Do you ever long to be as good as the saints and angels? Here’s a news flash. Those saints – most of them weren’t angels. We just celebrated the feast of St. Augustine, that one was a real booger if you ask his mom St. Monica. But he came around. And he was one of the finest examples of faith a person can find. (He learned it from his mom!) Amazing, isn’t it? He didn’t just have faith, he was faith on earth. The work he did for our Lord is incomparable. Praise God!
Being faith as opposed to having faith is much harder. But there is help. You know Who. Him, the kind Teacher, the compassionate Lover of all, the One Who is love. The Object of our faith. His offering to us didn’t stop on the cross, although that is the ultimate sacrifice and most important selfless act of all time. He continues to offer us Himself. He loves with abandon and teaches us how as well. He never gives up on us no matter how wayward we become. He offers us the gift of hope when we aren’t sure the sun will come up in the morning. He has a plan for each of us individually, personally. We just have to open our eyes, our hearts, our will to him. We have to strive, not only to have faith, but to be faith. One of the most marvelous things about God is that if you don’t feel like you can do this yourself, ask Him. He will show you how. He’s good like that.
If you are a praying person, I have a few requests for your prayer list:
Please pray for the Catholic Church. It appears that the enemy has wormed his way in, in an effort to destroy all God has built. The Church as a whole will never give in to this. Pray for the strength to oust this evil, to rebuild and to continue to proclaim the true Word of God to mankind.
Secondly, please pray for my beloved husband. He is very ill right now.
Third, please pray for peace. The world needs your prayers right now, this very minute.