As we begin this Year of Faith, called for by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, it is cause for personal reflection.
No matter who you are or where you work, it is a good opportunity to take some time to ask yourself, What are the most important aspects of my life? What are my priorities, my future hopes and dreams?
Many of us would reflect on our families, job, the qualities or abilities we have, the activities that we are involved in, those things we would like to have in our retirement years. But taking a second look, we may discover that many priorities are fleeting, or can change with circumstance, or as we grow older, or as our children leave the house. We often see the temporal effect of our hopes and dreams.
If we are honest, our list would narrow and we would see that only those things that are unchanging are most important. We would re-discover the importance of our faith and our families.
During this Year of Faith, ask yourself, how important is your faith? Do you take it for granted? Having been baptized as a infant, or even converted as an adult, do you see yourself forgetful of that special gift from God? Have you put off your faith practices because you have made room for “other” things in your life?
Faith may not guarantee us a better job or more money, but faith is the foundation that gets us through the joys and struggles of life. Our Holy Father reminded us in his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, that Faith is a door that is “opened at our baptism, ushering us into the life of communion with God and entry into His Church”. To enter that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime....”to believe in one God who is Love” and to share this revelation of the Father through the Son, with all we come in contact.
So as we begin, let us make a good resolve to dive more deeply into the truths of our faith through study, prayer, and reflection, to better prepare ourselves to be a witness for Christ by the actions of our lives. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that to love God we must first strive to know Him. And we can know Him through the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is through the gift of faith God calls us close to Him and through faith that we respond to that call, our gift back to God.
As we seek to grow in our love of God and our understanding of Him, may we will grow in our trust of Him, and the realization that of ourselves we can do nothing without Him.