‘Fortes in fide’

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT’S “strong in the faith” in English. The expression comes from the First Letter of St. Peter (5,9) and is made also in the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (16,13) Both passages are made in the context of our need to be always on guard against the enemies of our soul and to be trusting of God’s will and ways.

We need to make our faith strong and operative because that is how we can start and maintain our life to be a life with God as it should be. With faith, we start to share God’s knowledge of things and his power, and that is how our life should be since we are God’s image and likeness, meant to share in the very life of God.

At one point, Christ lamented the common phenomenon of our lack of faith. “This generation is an evil generation,” he said. “It seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (cfr. Lk 11,29-32)

If there is no faith, we will never see the things of God and the rich reality of the truly spiritual and supernatural world, no matter how much we spin our human powers to capture this reality. Not even our powerful sciences and technologies can enter into the spiritual and supernatural reality of our life.

We have to realize that our faith should not remain only on the theoretical, intellectual level. It has to be a functioning one, giving shape and direction in our thoughts and intentions, our words and deeds. In fact, it should shape our whole life.

The ideal condition is for us to feel our faith immediately. Indeed, it should be like an instinct such that whatever we think, say or do, or whenever we have to react to something, it is our faith that should guide us.

We have to understand that it is our faith that gives us the global picture of things, since it is God’s gift to us, a gratuitous sharing of what God knows about himself and about the whole of creation. It is meant for our own good, for us to live out our true dignity as children of God.

It is a kind of knowledge that will lead us to our eternal life. It will make us relate everything in our earthly life, both the good and the bad, to this ultimate goal in life which is to be in heaven with God, a state that is supernatural. But it is a divine gift that we need to take care of. It is like a seed that has to grow until it becomes a big tree and bears fruit.

For this, we really need to have a living contact with Christ who is the fullness of God’s revelation to us. He is the substance, the content and the spirit of our faith. So, the first thing that we have to do is to look for him always in whatever thing we are thinking, saying or doing.

We need to check our attitudes and dispositions. Do we really look for him, in the manner spelled out by Christ himself, that is, with constancy and determination? Christ said: “Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Mt 7,7)

Of course, we have to understand that a functioning faith is also the result of being actively guided by the Church which has been given full powers by Christ to keep and teach the faith with his very own authority.

Email: roycimagala@gmail.com