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Saturday, February 1, 2003

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Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Luke 1:69-75
Mark 4:35-41

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"the insidious risk" of undermined faith

"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see." —Hebrews 11:1

If the devil tried to bribe or intimidate you to give up your faith, many of you would not do it. The devil will sometimes then try something much more subtle.

Satan knows that we will eventually lose our faith if we don't make it a priority to grow in faith. "Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God" (Catechism, 150). It "is a lived knowledge of Christ" (Splendor of Truth, Pope John Paul II, 88). Faith is based on our relationship with Jesus. Because we are human beings, our relationships continually change for better or for worse, and so does our faith. Therefore, we must decide to try to grow in faith (see Jude 20). Otherwise, our faith will automatically erode and eventually be lost. Pope John Paul II has taught that if prayer does not fill our whole life, we "run the insidious risk of seeing" our "faith progressively undermined" (Entering the Third Millennium, 34). Our faith is growing or dying.

Jesus wants to say to each of us: "You have great faith!" (Mt 15:28) He does not want to ask the question: "Why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith?" (Mk 4:40) Therefore, let us cry out to Jesus: "I have faith! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl)

Prayer:  Father, may I do anything to accept Your grace of deeper faith.

Promise:  "But they were searching for a better, a heavenly home. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." —Heb 11:16

Praise:  Charles prays, studies the church's teachings (especially the Bible), and reads the lives of the saints to help increase his faith.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Hold Fast to the Faith on audio AV 71-1 or video V-71.)  

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002