Faith || Lent 2014, Day 4 #CSLentIPJ

FAITH

Faith, faith, faith - oh, how I struggle with this one.

Just last night, late, I was at church for my weekly hour of Eucharistic adoration after a long week and a Friday that saw me at the heights of sunny optimism in the morning and the depths of despair and discouragement by the end of the evening.  My knees hit the kneeler and the first thing words I prayed were these words from Mark:
"I believe!  Help my unbelief!"
Faith isn't easy and that's as it should be because faith is a gift.  It's one of the theological virtues (right up there with hope and love) which means there is nothing I can do to "get" more faith.  Faith, hope, and love (charity) are all from God:
"The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity." CCC 1813 (emphasis mine)
Oftentimes, just like the boy's father in the Gospel of Mark, we believe, but....

But life is hard.

But there is so much suffering.

But I am mocked by others for my faith.

All these buts, all of these conditions that we put upon God, essentially saying that we require God to make this life perfection for us in order to believe fully and faithfully.

We have it all. mixed. up.

This life isn't supposed to be perfect for us.

This life is supposed to perfect us.

And if we are meant to be perfected, well then, that means we are starting from a less than perfect place.  It means that we are all flawed and broken and in need of improvement, no matter who we are in life or where we are in life.

And the only way to improve - in life, in sports, in anything - is practice, practice, practice.

It takes faith, big bucket loads of faith, to see those tough moments of life, the deep valleys that seem endless and dark tombs whose walls press in on us, as practice, practice, practice.

And so we pray -

"I believe!  Help my unbelief!"

This post is inspired by Catholic Sistas Lent 2014 Instagram Photo Journal.