Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How strong is your faith?

You've heard of the woman, desperate for a cure, who knew that just touching the cloak of Jesus would heal her from years of medical abuse, ignorance, and pain.  In that one instance she was cured, was it her actually touching Jesus' cloak, was it Jesus, or was it her faith? "Your faith has made you well..."

Another example of this is when Jesus said to the blind man in Mark 10:52 "Go your way, your faith has made you well." This man heard of Jesus' and began crying out to Him, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"   His faith was strong enough to believe that Jesus could heal him and give him his sight.

"Go your way, your faith has made you well."

Where is that kind of faith today?  Do you have it?  There is so much sickness, sadness, and evil around us everyday.  I know that it has been hard on us lately in the Pillar household with our youngest stretching her newly-turned 18 year old wings in ways that has both her parents, brother and sister in shock and awe.  I have never prayed as much and as desperately as I have during these past 4 months.  These things can really shake one's faith for sure!  From the pulpit, from the Bible, from Jesus Himself, we are told that we are not alone, that He will never leave us......but why do we feel so helpless and abandoned sometimes?

Pope Francis, on April 19, 2015 during the Regina Coeli: On Being Witnesses to the Risen Christ, said this:
"Today begins in Turin that solemn exposition of the Holy Shroud. I too, God-willing, will go to venerate it on June 21st. I hope that this act of veneration helps us all to find in Jesus Christ the Merciful Face of God, and to recognize it in the face of our brothers and sisters, particularly those suffering most."  
Not only Christ, but others around us can lend support and encouragement when we are at our deepest low trying times.  Like the two examples above, there's always someone with a stronger faith that can help strengthen the faith of those around them.  They found the proof in their lives  they needed to have such faith. but it doesn't just happen, one has to want it and search for it. It is up to us to seek and recognize the face of God...the Merciful Face of God, and we can find Him in our brothers and sisters, in our crazy upturned lives, God is there and everywhere for us!

1 comment:

David Roemer said...

Reasons to Believe in Jesus
Reasons to believe Jesus is alive in a new life with God can be found in quotes from two prominent atheists and a biology textbook.

Thus the passion of man is the reverse of that of Christ, for man loses himself as man in order that God may be born. But the idea of God is contradictory and we lose ourselves in vain. Man is a useless passion. (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology, New York: Washington Square Press, p. 784)

Among the traditional candidates for comprehensive understanding of the relation of mind to the physical world, I believe the weight of evidence favors some from of neutral monism over the traditional alternatives of materialism, idealism, and dualism. (Thomas Nagel, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, location 69 of 1831)

And certain properties of the human brain distinguish our species from all other animals. The human brain is, after all, the only known collection of matter that tries to understand itself. To most biologists, the brain and the mind are one and the same; understand how the brain is organized and how it works, and we’ll understand such mindful functions as abstract thought and feelings. Some philosophers are less comfortable with this mechanistic view of mind, finding Descartes’ concept of a mind-body duality more attractive. (Neil Campbell, Biology, 4th edition, p. 776 )

Sartre speaks of the "passion of man," not the passion of Christians. He is acknowledging that all religions east and west believe there is a transcendental reality and that perfect fulfillment comes from being united with this reality after we die. He then defines this passion with a reference to Christian doctrine which means he is acknowledging the historical reasons for believing in Jesus. He does not deny God exists. He is only saying the concept of God is contradictory. He then admits that since life ends in the grave, it has no meaning.

From the title of the book, you can see that Nagel understands that humans are embodied sprits and that the humans soul is spiritual. He says, however, that dualism and idealism are "traditional" alternatives to materialism. Dualism and idealism are just bright ideas from Descartes and Berkeley. The traditional alternative to materialism is monism. According to Thomas Aquinas unity is the transcendental property of being. Campbell does not even grasp the concept of monism. The only theories he grasps are dualism and materialism.

If all atheists were like Sartre, it would be an obstacle to faith. An important reason to believe in Jesus is that practically all atheists are like Nagel and Campbell, not like Sartre.

by David Roemer