Keep the faith supernatural always

By: Fr. Roy Cimagala


WE need to understand that our Christian faith is first of all God’s gift to us to enable us to have the possibility of sharing the supernatural life of God, of whom we have been created as his image and likeness. That’s how God wants us to be.

That gift of faith is, of course, adapted to our human condition, especially to the aspect of our woundedness. It is meant to redeem us, to recover us and to reconcile us with God.

While we have to correspond to it duly and as fully as possible, we have to understand that the initiative comes from God first. Ours is only to reciprocate to it, much like the moon reflecting the light of the sun. This is, of course, no mean thing either, because what is involved should be our whole selves in the full use of our God-given faculties and powers.

But let us just make sure that in our effort to correspond to this divine gift of faith, we do not commit the mistake of making it too human and natural as to undermine or even negate its original supernatural character.

This can happen when our understanding of faith includes the possibility of understanding everything in it with our reason and other ways of human estimation alone. We do not anymore believe that there can be mysteries and that our ultimate goal of being the image and likeness of God can be achieved with our human efforts alone.

It can also happen that our understanding of fidelity to our Christian faith means rigidly sticking to the literal articulation of the doctrine of our faith, negating the possibility of adaptation, innovation, deepening and further development of the doctrine.

That would mean that the Holy Spirit has stopped prompting us or that we have no more need for the Holy Spirit since we believe that we already know everything even as we go through the changing situations in time.

By keeping our faith always supernatural can mean that we always have need to deepen our knowledge of it through constant study and meditation, trying to discern what the Holy Spirit is trying to prompt us, always allowing the possibility that He can prompt us with something that is quite radical but still homogeneous with the old, traditional understanding of our faith.

By keeping our faith always supernatural can also mean that aside from all the human and natural means to deepen our understanding of our faith, we really need to make use of the spiritual and supernatural means of prayer, sacrifice and recourse to the sacraments. Yes, we need to study individually and collectively, make consultations and discussions, but we also need to give priority to the spiritual and supernatural means.

This is how we can detect more clearly what the Holy Spirit is telling us in every moment and in every epoch with its characteristic general circumstances. Otherwise, our faith would degenerate into a mere human ideology which, definitely, can have some good and correct points, but would not have the proper spirit.

As such, that faith turned into a human ideology can present us with some brilliant ideas that can mislead us more than lead us properly to our true end. This is something we have to be most careful about.

And for this purpose, we really would need to be humble so that we would always see the priority of the spiritual and supernatural means over the human and natural. And that our study, articulation and proclamation of our faith would always be marked by prudence and we would be more certain that we are being guided by the Holy Spirit more than just our dominant human interests at the moment.

This, of course, is no easy thing to do. So, we just have to move really slowly but steadily, trusting always in God’s loving providence over us.