“Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.” – Pope Francis
We all have felt like we were walking in the dark, unsure of where to go or what to do. We have all experienced doubts or fears that challenged our faith in Christ. Many of us face a crisis of faith at some point in our lives, especially in times of difficulty or uncertainty. How can we overcome this crisis and live with joy and hope in Christ’s presence?
I want to share with you some reflections on how Christ helps us to overcome our crisis of faith. He does not leave us alone in our darkness, but He comes closer to us and surprises us with his love and mercy. He does not want us to have a superficial or intermittent faith, but a deep and constant faith that trusts him in every situation and follows him in every moment. He does not want us to have a narrow or selfish faith, but a broad and generous faith that embraces the whole world and desires its salvation.
In the following sections, I will explore three aspects of this faith that Christ is igniting in us: the beauty and power of faith, the freshness and renewal of faith, and the sharing and witness of faith. I will also suggest five ways to verify and strengthen our faith in our daily lives. I hope that this reflection will inspire you to rediscover the gift of faith that Christ has given you and to share it with others.
Christ to solve our Crisis of Faith
We do not solve our crisis of faith – Christ does. Jesus solved them by making Himself more present to us. He did not leave us alone after his resurrection, but He appeared to his disciples in many ways. He surprised them with his love and mercy, just like He surprises us today.
I remember one time when I was going through a difficult period in my life. I felt lonely and hopeless, and I wondered if God really cared about me. One day, I decided to go on a walk for some active silence. As I was walking, I saw a beautiful rose bush that was blooming with red roses. It reminded me of my Great Grandfather who was the first gardener to grow roses in my hometown. Drawn to the beauty of the roses, I approached it and smelled its sweet fragrance. A sudden warmth filled my heart, and I heard a gentle “voice” in my mind saying: “I love you, my child. You are precious to me.” It was not with words, but a gesture. As when a husband brings home a bouquet for his wife. The wife didn’t need the words spoken, but the action was enough to speak. It is in these gestures that I recognize the love of God for me. Jesus is pursuing me through the beauty of the world, through the beauty of the rose. He shows me His presence and His love in a simple but powerful way each day. He is constantly reminding me that I am preferred.
Have you ever had a similar experience? Have you ever felt Christ’s presence and love in a surprising way? Maybe it was through a person, a place, a song, a scripture passage, or a sacrament. Maybe it was through a sign of nature, a word of encouragement, a gesture of goodness, or a moment of peace. Christ is always looking for ways to surprise us with his love and mercy. He wants us to recognize him and to rejoice in him.
Christ does not move closer to us to reignite our faith as if it were a simple tool to make us feel better. He does not want us to have a superficial or intermittent faith that turns on and off depending on our needs or moods. Instead, He wants us to have a deep and constant faith that trusts him in every situation and follows him in every moment.
When Jesus scolded the disciples for their little faith, He was not angry with them, but He wanted to awaken them to a greater awareness of who He is and what He can do for them. Jesus wanted them to realize that he was not just a teacher or a friend, but the Son of God and the Savior of the world. He wanted them to believe that He had the power to calm the storm, feed the hungry, heal the sick, raise the dead, and forgive sins. Trusting that He had the authority to command the wind and the waves, multiply the loaves and fishes, cast out demons, walk on water, and give eternal life was what he desired.
Is this kind of faith something we possess? Believing that Christ is who He says He is and that he can do what He says He can do is important. Trusting that He has power and authority over every aspect of our lives is crucial. Following Him with confidence and obedience is key.
The faith that Christ is igniting in us is the faith that was ignited in Simeon, the old man who waited for the Messiah in the temple. Simeon did not have a faith that comforted his old age, but a faith that embraced the whole world. Recognizing Jesus as the light of the nations and the glory of Israel was what he did. Simeon praised God for fulfilling his promise and letting him see his salvation.
Faith must encompass a desire for the whole world, for all people to know and love Christ as we do. Sharing Christ’s light and glory with others is what faith inspires us to do. Praying for God’s will and kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven is what it motivates us to do.
Is this kind of faith something we have? Recognizing Christ as the light of the world and the glory of God is important. Praising God for his faithfulness is crucial.
The Freshness and Renewal of Faith
Faith is not a blind leap into the dark, but a reasonable response to the encounter with Christ. It allows us to be rooted in the reality that God has created and redeemed us. Faith enables us to see everything with new eyes, with the eyes of Christ.
Consider how faith changes our perception of ourselves, of others, and of the world. With faith, we see ourselves as God’s beloved children, created in His image and likeness, and called to His glory. With faith, we see others as our brothers and sisters, sharing in God’s dignity and love, deserving of our respect and compassion. With faith, we see the world as God’s gift and creation, filled with His beauty and goodness, entrusted to our care and stewardship.
But what happens when we lose faith or reduce it to mere intellectual assent? We lose the sense of wonder and awe that God instills in us. We lose the awareness of His presence and action in our lives. We lose the joy and hope that He gives us. We become like wilted flowers, dry and lifeless.
Consider how losing faith affects our perception of ourselves, of others, and of the world. Without faith, we see ourselves as insignificant or unworthy, subject to sin and death, hopeless and helpless. Without faith, we see others as enemies or strangers, competing for resources and attention, threatening or indifferent. Without faith, we see the world as a hostile or meaningless place, full of evil and suffering, doomed or irrelevant.
This is not how God wants us to live. He wants us to flourish and bear fruit. He wants us to experience His love and mercy. He wants us to be His witnesses in the world. He wants us to be His friends and brothers.
How can we renew our faith and regain its freshness? How can we let God’s grace transform our lives? Starting by opening our hearts to Him in prayer and listening to His word is one way. Continuing by receiving His sacraments and participating in His church is another way. Finishing by serving His people and sharing His gospel is yet another way.
Settling for a stale or stagnant faith is not what we should do, but seeking a fresh and vibrant faith is what we should do. Being afraid or ashamed of our faith is not what we should do, but being proud and confident of our faith is what we should do. Hiding or neglecting our faith is not what we should do, but showing and cultivating our faith is what we should do.
Asking God today to renew our faith and fill us with His Spirit is what we should do. Praying with the Psalmist: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” (Psalm 51:12) is what we should do.
Sharing the Beauty of Our Faith
But how can we share this desire for the whole world to know and love Christ as we do? How can we communicate the beauty of our faith to those who have not had the encounter that made it beautiful for us? Doing it by ourselves is not possible, but only by the grace of God and the help of the Church. Praying for ourselves and for others, asking for the gift of faith and the courage to witness it is what we need to do. Participating in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession, where we receive Christ’s presence and forgiveness is what we need to do. Joining a community of believers, where we can support each other and grow together in faith is what we need to do.
Faith is something to be acted on, not just talked about. Sharing the fruits of our faith with others, not just the roots of our faith is what we need to do. Living our faith, not just professing it is what we are called to do. Being examples of our faith, not just teachers is what we are called to do.
What does this look like in practice? Expressing our faith when we love others as Christ loves us, with compassion and generosity is what we do. Sharing the fruits of our faith when we serve others as Christ serves us, with humility and dedication is what we do. Being an example of our faith when we forgive others as Christ forgives us, with mercy and grace is what we do. Living our faith when we rejoice with others as Christ rejoices with us, with gratitude and praise is what we do.
My dear friends, being afraid or discouraged by our crisis of faith is not what we should do. Being satisfied with a mediocre or lukewarm faith is not what we should do. Asking Christ to surprise us with his presence, reignite our faith with his love, and inspire us with his mission is what we should do. Being faithful to him, who is faithful to us is what we should do. Being joyful witnesses of his resurrection is what we should do. Being lights of the world and salt of the earth is what we should do.
This is the beauty of our faith. This is the gift that Christ has given us. This is the message that we want to share with others.
Five Ways to Verify Your Faith
One of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves is: how do we verify if we live our life by faith or not? Faith is not a vague sentiment or a blind adherence to a doctrine, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate meaning of our existence. Faith is a gift that God offers us, but also a task that we have to accept and cultivate.
Here are five ways that we can verify if we live our life by faith or not:
Prayer is the expression of our desire for God, who is the source of all good. Additionally, it is the recognition of our dependence on Him, who loves us and cares for us. Daily prayer is important, but do we do it? Asking God for what we need, for what we want, for what we hope for is what we should do. Thanking Him for what He gives us, even when it is not what we expected is what we should do. Trusting Him in every circumstance, even when it is difficult or painful is what we should do.
Jesus Christ is the center of our faith, the one who reveals to us who God is and who we are. Dying and rising for us, He offers us His friendship and His grace. Inviting us to follow Him and to share in His mission is what He does. Seeking Jesus in our life is what we should do. Reading His Word, listening to His voice, and following His example is what we should do. Loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is what we should do.
Imagine Life Without Jesus
What would be different in our life if Jesus had not been born or present? Facing our problems, our doubts, our fears would be different. Relating to others, to ourselves, to the world would be different. Finding happiness, meaning, purpose would be different. Without Jesus, our life would be empty, dark, hopeless. With Jesus, our life is full, bright, hopeful. Appreciating the difference that Jesus makes in our life is what we should do. Thanking Him for His presence and His gift is what we should do.
Jesus is not an abstract idea or a distant memory but a living person who is present among us. Present in His Word, in His Church, in His Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Present in His Spirit, who guides us and inspires us. Present in His Body, which is the community of believers who share His life and His mission. Encountering Jesus in these ways is what we should do. Listening to His Word, participating in His Church, receiving His Sacraments is what we should do. Welcoming His Spirit, following His guidance, cooperating with His inspiration is what we should do. Joining His Body, supporting His people, sharing His mission is what we should do.
Be transformed by Jesus
The presence of Jesus transforms us from within. Making us more aware of our dignity and our destiny. Opening us up to His love and His will. Making us more attentive to His voice and His signs. Generosity in giving ourselves and gratitude in receiving from others are things that increase within us. Joyfulness in living and hopefulness in dying are things that increase within us. Being transformed by Jesus in these ways is what we should strive for. Growing in awareness, openness, attentiveness, generosity, gratitude, joy and hope are things that we should strive for.
These are some ways that we can verify if we live our life by faith or not. They are not meant to be tests or judgments but invitations and opportunities. Discouraging or condemning us is not their purpose but encouraging and challenging us.
Jesus wants us to live by faith. Having a personal relationship with Him is important to Him. Experiencing His love and grace is important to Him. Being faithful witnesses of His resurrection is important to Him.
Asking Him today to help us verify our faith and strengthen it with His Spirit is what we should do. Saying with the apostles: “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5) is what we should do.
Thank you for reading this reflection on overcoming the crisis of faith. Rediscovering the beauty, freshness, and sharing of your faith is what I hope it has helped you do. Seeking Christ, encountering Him, and being transformed by Him is what I hope it has inspired you to do.
Faith is a gift that God gives us, but also a task that we have to accept and cultivate. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate meaning of our existence, is what faith is. Joy and hope that we want to share with others is what faith is.
Praying for each other, that we may live our life by faith is what we should do. Asking Christ to surprise us with His presence, reignite our faith with His love, and inspire us with His mission is what we should do. Being faithful to Him, who is faithful to us is what we should do. Being joyful witnesses of His resurrection is what we should do. Being lights of the world and salt of the earth is what we should do.
Hearing from you is something I would love. What are your thoughts on this reflection? Verifying your faith in your life is something I would like to know about. Overcoming your crisis of faith is something I would like to know about. Commenting below or tweeting at me @PaulWagle. God bless you!