REFLECTION: Faith and realism PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:38

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

WE should have no doubt about this. For us to “get real” and to be realistic, we need to be guided by faith, rather than be led simply by our reason and much less by our feelings and instincts alone. These latter things give us at best a partial view of things. Many times, they give a distorted and dangerous view.

Faith gives us the global picture of things. It shows us their causes, effects and consequences. It penetrates into the essence of things and the spirit behind the events in our life. It goes beyond appearances and our earthly estimations of things, whether they are our personal insights or our collective consensus.

It considers not only the material aspects of things, but also the spiritual. Not only the natural, but also the supernatural. Not only the temporal, but also the eternal. Not only the mundane, but also the sacred.

It is actually the basis of all knowledge, and what gives proper light, meaning and direction to all our humanly discovered sciences and invented technologies. It also points to us where everything should end.

Its scope, range and depth are the largest, the widest and the profoundest that we can have. More than that, it is what brings us the imperishable, eternal life, for it brings with it invincible hope and the all-conquering charity that take on anything.

Our human estimations can only give us so much hope, so much charity. The benefits they give are of the practical type that gives us some measure of comfort and convenience, if not, wealth, power, fame. But all these end with time, and are always in need of a higher value.

Besides, our human estimations are highly dependent on concrete conditions. They would be at a loss when these conditions are not met. Not so with faith which can still function in any situation.

Faith provides us with the answers to all our questions and solutions to all our problems especially when all our human effort fails. No human error or misfortune can put our faith useless. No human success or victory, nor any human condition can render it irrelevant.

We should have recourse to it at the beginning, end and in-between of all our activities, starting with our thoughts and desires, our intentions, and then our words, deeds, and the different projects we have.

Faith truly puts us in touch with reality in its fullness. That is because it comes from God who gives it to us as a gift. It is an expression of divine wisdom which God shares with us, since we are his image and likeness, and his adopted children.

We have to be wary of our tendency to take it for granted, or to be suspicious of its usefulness in our life, especially in our daily concerns. We also need to take it out from the sacred places and spiritual environments to which we tend to confine it, and allow it to breathe and work freely in our secular affairs.

We also have to overcome the thought that living by faith is impracticable. To live by faith is doable, because it is God’s desire and on his part, he is giving us everything to make that happen. Things just depend on us.

Faith is also very crucial in our big human affairs, like our business and politics. Precisely in these areas, faith is needed for it would help us put things in order, guiding is our decisions and choices that certainly would have a big impact on the lives of many people.

Without faith, and if guided only by our sense of practicality and convenience and other worldly values, we sooner or later would end up cheating, deceiving, lording it over others, quarreling, and falling into all sorts of anomalies and perversions, precisely because of our wounded and weakened human nature.

We should always try to be consistent with our faith. We need to study the doctrine of our faith well, assimilate them such as to make them flesh of our flesh, the working principles that guide and shape our life.

But, to be sure, faith is not only an intellectual affair. It primarily involves a living relationship with God, our Creator and Father. We need to develop and deep interior life, one that would always make us aware of God’s presence and docile to the promptings of his Spirit.

We need to do some adjustments in the way we think and see things, in the way we react to happenings, etc., to make sure God is always in the middle of it all.