By Juliana Valdez
There is so much going on lately that many are actually throwing their hands up in despair as they fight to make sense of what is happening in the world, in our society, in our personal lives.
Disasters, natural and manmade, assail us, and we are all affected one way or the other, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
There is a feeling among many that things are spiralling downward at a rate which leaves humankind reeling with doubt and fear, creating panic and uncertainty about the future. Arguments abound about whether things will get back to normal or whether we should face the fact that there is a new normal.
What used to be simple tasks are not so simple anymore. They have been made so complicated by the protocols now in place that going for a stroll, eating out, doing grocery shopping, going to the beach, going to school/work, going to church, have become events accompanied by the mantra, ‘Wear masks, wash hands, sanitise!’
So, how do we cope with these challenges? In one of EWTN’s episodes of Mother Angelica’s Classics, she made a profound statement on faith. She said, “In good times, we enjoy faith. In bad times, we exercise faith!”.
The questions then in these times are ‘What does faith mean to us?’; ‘What is the definition of faith?’
We learn from our Catechism that ‘faith’ is “a supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed.”
What has God revealed about faith? The answers are there in the scriptures, the inspired Word of God. Let’s examine some of them:
Mathew 21:22: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.”
Luke 1:17: “Nothing is impossible with God.”
Luke 17:5: “the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith’.”
Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Romans 10:17: “So Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 2:5: “That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Many theories are being put forward about the origin/cause/purpose of this pandemic, the state of our nation, riddled by crime and violence, the breakdown in family life, the spiritual apathy which seems to have overtaken believers, etc, but are we exercising our faith to see us through these times?
With faith there should be trust, totally, in the One to whom “nothing is impossible”. Proverbs 3:5–6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”
While it is in our humanness to experience fear and doubt during these uncertain times, we must keep uppermost in our minds that we serve an awesome, limitless God who continues to fill us with the grace we need to overcome, get past and survive the present challenges with which we are faced in whatever aspect of our lives.
Exercising our faith calls for obedience: to the Word of God which is necessary for us to develop and maintain a closer relationship with Him thus enabling our faith to be deepened and strengthened, trusting in Him for deliverance from our challenges; and to the dictates from our leaders who are putting guidelines in place for us to be able to cope successfully with the current situations.
So, we continue to pray, asking in faith, believing that Almighty God will heal, restore and bless our beloved nation as we face these challenging times.