What does Faith mean to you?

[ 7 ] August 17, AD 2013 |

christ-faith-hope-jesus-light-Favim.com-214422In the Year of Faith I was asked by my local Catholic newspaper to write about what faith means to me. Here’s my thoughts:

Faith to me is life. In our world today, particularly in my peer group, faith I think can be seen as an optional extra, even something that you don’t need at all. It is far more than that. It is what I was created for. We were created by God for Love and to Love. That takes a life time. A relationship with a true and living God, Jesus Christ. Faith can’t be segmented into a section of our lives. It isn’t just an important part of life, it covers all parts of life.

My faith makes the rest of the world make sense. It reconciles personal sufferings with happiness. It gives me a joy and optimism that many I know without faith don’t have. My identity and a way of life, that is often hard, is still joyful and in many ways, logical. The ‘rules’ of the church that many don’t understand, actually make sense of the confusing modern world and are a natural law that keep me healthy and happy. Don’t get me wrong, its not always easy. There are many ups and downs, desolation and consolations. Its hard standing out in the way that we live trying to be faithful. It comes with persecutions. Yet also, it helps with persecutions.

l love what Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said:

“For the life they would have to live, seculars would not be able to do it. For a work of continual self-forgetfulness and immolation for others, you need interior souls—burning with love for God and souls. Pure souls who would see and seek God in the poor.—Free souls—who would be able to sacrifice everything just for this one thing only, to bring a soul to God.—The work will need much deep, fervent prayers and much penance—and all these people of an association will not be able to bring to the work, and the work will not fulfill its aim—“to bring souls to God, and God to souls.” 

Faith helps us change the world. Not that we can’t change the world without it, but as Blessed Teresa said, it is very hard.

And in a way that is indescribable, faith (my God) moves me even when I don’t feel it. It brings joys that cannot be described. And that makes it all worth it.

What does faith mean to you?

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Category: Columnists, Religion, Spirituality

About the Author ()

Chelsea Houghton is a 27 year old mother who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband and four children under the age of five. She has a Media and Communications degree from the University of Canterbury and in the past has worked for the Journey of the Cross and Icon for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, for the Christchurch Catholic Youth Team and running the Theology of the Body for Teens programme and training to various groups. She a managing editor for Catholic Stand and also is a columnist for Ignitum Today and NZ Catholic. Chelsea blogs at Grow the Roses
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  • Fisheryy

    Faith helps me to be open to the word of God wherever i encounter it including what you have just written. I try (however imperfectly) to see God’s presence in everyone and whenever I encounter something so beautifully written as this I know God is trying to reach me, in this case through you.

  • Declan Kennedy

    Chelsea,

    Nice post, but …

    What about the people who are not like you and Mother Teresa.? I have to admit that I am uncomfortable with Mother Teresa’s point about us “seculars” and your comment about the world making sense. It makes less and less sense to me as I get older.

    I’ve read Fisheryy’s comment below. To me, faith without works is nonsense. I don’t want to judge people by their works, but surely being open to the Word of
    God requires action. To me the problem is the old one of what is the right action in the situation in which you have to have to act;

    Again with Fisherry, I’m open to the Word of God, but He tells me to vote for one candidate and the Platform, or so I think, and she votes for the other. My wife is a genuine Christian, of the Catholic variety, and so am I, I hope and pray!

    I’d be really interested in your thoughts. To add to the problem, we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary this afternoon, yet we have never agreed on Christian action or issues like Charismatics.

    God will bless you for the work you are doing

  • Phil Dzialo

    I am unsure whether a particular branded faith is of necessity to be a genuine, good and loving person. It is the pinnacle of humanity; the opposite of indifference. I don’t want to dwell on the faith thing but I think that it is necessary that people know the truth about Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, the infamous Blessed Mother Theresa who I believe is a fraud.

    (1) The Blessed part: The miracle that wasn’t. The claim is that Monica Besra was dying and a MT medallion was placed over her stomach and she was cured. So she was quickly elevated to Blessed.”This miracle claim is absolute nonsense and should be condemned by everyone,” Dr Ranjan Kumar Mustafi, of Balurghat Hospital in West Bengal, said. “She had a medium-sized tumour in her lower abdomen caused by tuberculosis. The drugs she was given eventually reduced the cystic mass and it disappeared after a year’s treatment.”

    Her husband initially shared this scepticism. “This miracle is a hoax,” he told an interviewer last year. “It is much ado about nothing. My wife was cured by the doctors.” The Telegraph, October 2003

    Second, MT befriended, had photoshoots and praised (in addition to taking millions from Duvalier of Haiti, and Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Trust. We know the Duvalier family oppressed and stole from the poor of Haiti. We know that Keating was convicted of defrauding the elderly. When Keating was jailed the DA asked MT for the money back so restitution to the elderly could be made….she refused.
    Her hopices in Calcutta were hovels, unsanitary, lack in basic amenities and devoid of medical and palliative care. MD’s have repeated stated many could have been saved if provided proper medications….meanwhile MT had millions in bank, sitting there. MT loved poverty, not the poor…she is no hero in Calcutta. The dying were simply told to smile and join their suffering with Jesus doe redemption when they could have been treated and cured. MT was more interested in creating nunneries and providing hovels in which people could die. Totally orthodoz RC messenger but hardly Christian. Do your research and read “The Missionary Position” C. Hitchens

    • MM

      Phil = troll

      • Phil Dzialo

        Instead of calling people names; refute the argument presented with facts and use your real name.

  • Guest

    to me faith is everything coz without faith I wouldn’t make it up till now without knowing that I have faith In myself