One of my favorite movies of all time is “A Walk To Remember” staring Mandy Moore. If you haven’t seen it, go see it, it’s great. But there is a part in the movie where she is trying to explain what love is, she says, “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.” I see faith in a similar manner. We may not be able to see faith as this gust of wind that is physically moving trees, but faith has the power to change the world. A lot of times we can simply brush off our faith as though it’s something in the background of our life, but it’s not. I struggled with this a lot when I left the seminary many years ago. I had studied to be a Catholic Priest for nearly seven years, and when I left I had a hard time differentiating the “former seminarian” to the “regular guy”. After time I realized that they are both the same person. We are not called to live as though we have multiple personalities. That “Oh, I’m the good church goer on Sunday, but come Monday I’m the jerk.” This is not what faith calls us to do or be. Faith calls us to continually turn to the cross and say, “lead me Lord.”
This challenge, like a lot of the other challenges, required me to remember my challenge numerous times throughout the day. So there were many times on day 9 that I would think to myself “Remember to focus on faith.” The amazing thing about faith is that when we acknowledge it we are not merely saying the words, but we are opening ourselves up to God and His will. I am a practicing Catholic, and my faith is of utmost importance to me in my life, my family, and within my actions (I hope). While I can say I am a Catholic, how many times a day do I focus on my faith? How many times a day to I ask God “Is this the path you want for me?” We can get so locked up and tunnel-visioned that we forget the path that He has already laid for us. St. Bridget of Sweden told us that Jesus was lashed 5,480 times, so we have plenty of reasons to REMEMBER our faith. If we are to allow our faith to be a guiding force in our life, we must first realize WHY it’s a guiding force, and secondly put it into practice. This challenge opened my eyes to being a better Catholic through my words and actions. And, as Pope Francis once said, “If you happen to be with an atheist who tells you that he does not believe in God, you can read him the whole library, where it says that God exists, and where it is proven that God exists, and he will not believe”. However, he continued, “If in the presence of this same atheist you witness to a consistent, Christian life, something will begin to work in his heart”. And “it will be your witness that brings him the restlessness on which the Holy Spirit works”. (http://www.news.va/en/news/the-popes-mass-at-santa-marta-the-scandal-of-incon )
Whatever your faith may be, make sure you live it out. Inspire people with your words, but more so your actions. Thanks for the challenge, this was a great one!