By Fr. Roy Cimagala
REMEMBER that episode when a paralytic was presented to Christ for curing under great effort? (cfr. Mk 2,1-12) Christ was so amazed at their faith that he not only cured the man of his illness but also forgave his sins, which was the more important thing the paralytic received that day.
This is what faith can do for us. It enables us to receive God’s power and mercy. It is actually first of all God’s gift to us, but if corresponded to generously by us, it can produce great wonders in our life.
Faith unites us with God in whose image and likeness we have been made. It gives us the whole truth about ourselves, about who we really are. It provides us with all the means we need to face all the challenges of our life.
It is indispensable in our life as we go through the drama of our earthly pilgrimage. With it, we can manage to have hope even in our worst hopeless predicament, as well as charity especially in those moments when we don’t see or feel love around and instead hatred prevails.
What faith also does is to enlighten our mind, enabling us to see and understand things beyond simply the material, temporal and the natural. It lets us enter into the spiritual and supernatural world to which we are poised.
It is very helpful in our personal growth and development. If we allow it to guide us in our life, it can masterfully harmonize the different powers and faculties of our humanity. Our intelligence, our will, our emotions and passions, our appetites would be properly orchestrated.
We cannot deny that all our faculties are often at odds with each other. St. Paul once described this predicament well when he said: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.” (Rom 7,15)
As to how to resolve this predicament, St. Paul offered the answer when he said, “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7,24-25) It is when we have a living and working faith in Christ.
It’s really important that we submit all our faculties to the dictates of our faith. This may require tremendous discipline, but it would be all worth it. That’s because faith tells us what the real and ultimate purpose of our life should be, and thus would give us the proper guide and criteria as to how to deal and use our intelligence, will, emotions and passions, memory, imagination, etc.
There will be struggle involved here. That is why Christ told us that we need to deny ourselves and carry the cross if we want to follow him who is the pattern of our humanity. It is in him that we can find and achieve the fullness and perfection of our humanity.
It would be good if we can assume the mind of St. Paul when he said: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” (1 Cor 9,25)
It’s the power of faith that would make us win in our game of life!