It is a real challenge to “keep the faith” today. Our faith can be shaken by the secular world around us, our own doubts and the sometimes hard teachings of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis reminds us that “being Christian is not just obeying orders but means being in Christ, thinking like him, acting like him, loving him: it means letting him take possession of our life and change it, transform it and free it from the darkness of evil and sin.”
Faith is a theological virtue along with hope and love. It is infused by God into the souls of the faithful at our Baptism. (CCC, 1812) Faith is the bedrock and foundation for all the elements of Christianity.
Without faith, Christ can’t work in our lives. Jesus could not perform miracles in Nazareth because of their lack of faith. But in many instances he healed illness, raised people from the dead and even forgave their sins because of their great faith. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” he told the sinful woman when she washed his feet with her own hair in the Gospel of Luke (7:50).
So how do we keep the faith? St. Paul tells us “to stand firm in faith, be courageous, be strong.” (1Cor 16:13) He is telling us that living our faith isn’t easy and we need to persevere through suffering and trials. Avoid rejecting faith or losing it through sin.
A powerful way to keep the faith is to cultivate friends of faith who encourage you to grow in holiness. Jesus sent his disciples out “two by two,” (MK 6:7) so if one falls the other will help the fallen one. (Eccl 4:9-10) These friendships help us in our daily walk with the Lord. Who are you walking with to help you “keep the faith?”
Blessings, Jeanne Leonrdi