Chapter 4 – Obedience of Faith

The chapter describes faith as experienced as a pilgrimage with acts of trust, moving along in the direction of growing in communion with God in the course of our daily lives.  It is fully reasonable to expect then that there will be areas/teachings we need to grow into, to grapple with, to only grasp gradually as though moving from the milk of the Word to solid food.  On this journey we are invited to taste that the Lord is good and to submit to the fullness of divine revelation found in Jesus Christ and passed on to us through the Church (chapter 3).  This approach, this obedience of faith, contrasts with the current temptation to simply decide for oneself what to believe.

This journey, that includes openness to ongoing conversion, isn’t at all “checking your brain at the front door” as it is at times caricatured.  Though indeed there might well be extended times in our lives when we exclaim, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” this is no lazy journey.  Quite the contrary, we are challenged to move, to grow, from milk to solid food through the study required to deepen our understanding and to grow in love that moves beyond quarreling and self interest obstructing the way of spiritual maturity.

What’s more, we don’t get to wait to put faith into action until we have been fully trained and have arrived at a state of perfection. No, of course not, we grow through a lot of practice in both small and big things. That practice comes in choosing (discerning) between good choices, and in taking a stand against the challenges opposed to living faithful to Jesus Christ found in personal temptations and the challenges to faith described in the final section of this chapter (and in our daily newspapers).  Not surprisingly, sometimes we fall and need to stand up again – but that is another chapter! (Laurie E.)

About Fanning The Flame

FTF is a 125th Anniversary Journey of Faith of the Diocese of Belleville through the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
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4 Responses to Chapter 4 – Obedience of Faith

  1. Sue Gass says:

    I came home to the Catholic Church kicking and screaming in 2000(the year of the jubilee) as an act of obedience. I’d left the church at a young age after my sister died from a serious illness. This tragedy made me question whether or not God existed. In my great wisdom and pain I decided he didn’t. I lost my faith! As a rebellious teenager I joined the ranks of the secular world and followed my own religion of “do what I please”! I lived for myself for the next 10 years before I started questioning the idea of God once again.
    My next step led me to pick up a bible a protestant friend gave me in college. I had no idea what I was about to get into! My journey home began with reading the word of God and discovering a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I realized He loved me so much that He died for me and for my sins so that I might have eternal life. I joined a non-denominational church in Belleville and started to fall in love with Jesus. Engaged at the time, my husband (also a Catholic) and I got married at this little church and spent the next 20 years serving Him with zeal in and out of numerous protestant churches.
    In 1998 the Holy Spirit prompted my husband and I to question our faith once again. There was an underlying message in the protestant church which we were attending that negatively attacked the Catholic Church. This touched a chord in my husband and I and we knew in our hearts this wasn’t true.
    The Holy Spirit then brought a new friend into my life- she was Catholic! This person was instrumental in bringing us to the doors of the Catholic Church. This was the first Catholic I met who talked about her faith with conviction. She not only knew her faith but by example she was living it. Two years later a parish in Belleville offered a program for Catholics Returning Home. We were invited to attend this series by a devout priest and now the door was opened-all we had to do was enter. This was not an easy choice to make; in fact my husband had to practically carry me through the door.
    In the beginning my Catholic faith was very shaky and only about the size of a mustard seed, but I trusted in the words of Jesus that reminded me this was all I needed and took one step at a time. The Holy Spirit had led me to seek the Truth- my questions slowly were answered as I began to study, receive the sacraments and attend mass. I found the answers in the Catholic Church. It’s great to be home and I agree with your statement “this is no lazy journey”.

  2. Inspiring to read Sue – Thank you for sharing!

  3. Dave Richey says:

    Sue, your testimony is very compelling and, as Laurie stated above, very inspiring … thanks for this input!!
    To all: my faith journey was largely rooted in a protestant church, and that was certainly not all bad!! But, having now been in the Catholic faith x2 years (or so) I find it an infinitely more strenuous calling. It requires anything but ‘checking one’s brain at the door’ … rather it endlessly challenges me to give more and more of myself in Ministry and reaching out to others. And every moment is pleasurable!!
    Lazy Journey?? I think definitely not! (dave richey)

  4. wth3 says:

    I am always drawn to the Feb 2nd Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the lives of Simeon and Anna. Their faith and fidelity to living in the promise of Christ is the very same feeling I get when I enter the church building and seeing the people in the pews who return faithfully every week to celebrate in communion with each other and Christ. It is these folks who inspire me and keep me working in ministry-even when the insider knowledge of our human failings and moral failings of leadership is played out on a daily basis.
    As I tell everyone who questions why I stay in the Church in the face of priestly, episcopal and general mismanagement I say, “If you only concentrate on the human side of “organized religion”, you’re going to be disappointed.”
    My faith and the faith of most is not defined by the failings of those who have sinned. It is in the lives and fidelity of believe that our faith shines and is witness to what we truly believe.

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