Growing in Faith
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” –John 20:29
Augustine once wrote that “faith opens the door to understanding; unbelief closes it.” Faith involves belief, trust, and reliance. It’s not a feeling, but something much deeper. It is an act of the intellect, prompted by the will, and it allows to do one of the most important things in the world: say “yes” to God.
What is faith?
“Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith ‘man freely commits his entire self to God.’ For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will.” –CCC 1814
Living with faith
Faith is a decision we make and a gift from God. When we choose to believe in God and grow in faith, our whole lives will change for the better, and the possibilities of becoming the person God created us to be are endless. The great adventure with Christ starts in faith.
Faith and love (charity) are also intimately connected. St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, “Faith is the foundation of love, on which love is built…love is what brings faith to perfection.”
If you struggle with faith, take time to learn more about the God of the universe and the faith of the Catholic Church He founded.
3 ideas to help you grow in faith
- Read the Bible. Are you reading the Scriptures daily? If not, you should be. Our faith increases with our knowledge and love of God and His plan for us, which unfolds in the Sacred Scriptures. Get yourself a great study Bible or start a Bible study program on your own or with others at your parish. Of course, always accompany your Scripture reading with prayer! Prayer increases faith.
- Receive the sacraments. The grace we receive from the sacraments, especially through regular reception of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession, helps us to grow in faith. Consider going to Confession at least once a month, and make it to Mass not just on Sundays, but maybe even during the week when you can.
- Share your faith! Sharing your faith with others is a great way to increase faith in your own life. Check out the book Catholics Come Home: God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life for inspiring ways to live and share your faith.
What do the experts say?
“In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on course.” –St. Boniface
“The righteous shall live by faith.” –Romans 1:17
“There is only one honest reason why anyone should ever believe anything: because it is true. God is, and God has acted, and God has spoken. Now I must respond. That is the true situation. Do I respond Yes (faith) or No? That is the simple question.” –Dr. Peter Kreeft