Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Defined by Faith

I recently took part in a discussion in which we debated whether or not we, as Catholics, are defined by faith. My answer: yes. I will admit that I was less than thrilled at the response I received. Still I stand firm in my belief that we are defined by faith. We are here to serve our God. This is our purpose. Since the very moment we were conceived our pupose has been to love and to serve our God. We were made with the intent to worship and adore Him for all eternity and while we are on earth we are called to serve Him the best way we can.

I would guess that the hostility which arose was due to a negative connotation that has been placed on faith in our society. We don't revolve around faith like many others around the world. We not only revolve around ourselves but those who are around us. We would like to be defined not by faith but by our gifts and talents while not recognizing that those things come from God. We are called to use our gifts and talents to serve Him. We serve Him not in serving ourselves, but in serving others. We must glorify His name with these gifts which are given us. This is our purpose. Knowing this, how then can we not be defined by faith?

To those who would disagree with me I pose this question: If you would not like to be defined by faith, by what then would you like to be defined? Before you answer you should ask yourself a few questions. What is it that I am being defined by and why? Where did this trait of mine come from? What priority does this have in my life? Am I, rather than choosing to be defined by faith, choosing to be defined in this way out of fear? What societal influences are there in my desire to be defined in this way? Am I serving myself through this or am I allowing myself to be owned by God?

We are owned by God. We are His. This should not be something of which we are ashamed. This should be an extremely humbling thought. He chooses us each and every day. He has chosen us since before we were existant in our mother's womb. It is our job now to choose Him every day. We are called to choose HIM and to serve HIM. Everything that we do here should be done to glorify His Holy Name. If we benefit or profit from any work of our own, it should only be by the grace and mercy of God. Any good trait we display is only because of the goodness of God. Every good thing in this world resembles the greatness of God. It is only by the grace and mercy of God that we should be recognized at any time as good or loving or holy.

We are given the extraordinary opportunity to share Christ's love with others each and every day. In the Catholic church we are given the opportunity to not only embrace God and His love for us but to take an active part in that love. We are are given the opportunity each day to receive Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Who would want to deny this in order to be seen as the best soccer player in their school? Who would choose to be known as an athelete over a child of God which is given the opportunity to become one with Him every day of their life after First Holy Communion? We are living here and striving for sainthood. Sainthood brings us to the completion of our unity with Him. We are united partially with Him here and fully with Him in the life to come. Knowing this I again ask, why would we choose to be defined any other way?

I am proud to say that I am defined by faith and humbled to say that my faith has been given to me by my Creator. I will forever worship and adore His Holy Name. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner. St. Maria Goretti, pray for us! Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us! St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

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