Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lumen Fidei #18: Equal Opportunity Faith


Source.
From #48: The Gnostics held that there are two kinds of faith: a crude, imperfect faith suited to the masses, which remained at the level of Jesus' flesh and the contemplation of his mysteries; and a deeper, perfect faith reserved to a small circle of initiates who were intellectually capable of rising above the flesh of Jesus towards the mysteries of the unknown divinity. In opposition to this claim, which even today exerts a certain attraction and has its followers, Saint Irenaeus insisted that there is but one faith, for it is grounded in the concrete event of the incarnation and can never transcend the flesh and history of Christ, inasmuch as God willed to reveal himself fully in that flesh. For this reason, he says, there is no difference in the faith of "those able to discourse of it at length" and "those who speak but little," between the greater and the less: the first cannot increase the faith, nor the second diminish it.
Paul tells us that in God there no Jew or Greek, slave or free, man or woman, because we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). We are also told:

One body, one spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)
Seems pretty clear to me. Just as there is one God, there is only one faith. And faith isn't just for the theologians or the church-goers. Faith is for everyone.

I always think it's funny when people assume that I'm somehow closer to God because I have a Master's and I volunteer a bunch for the Church. I'll let you in on a little secret. Even people like me have doubts. We, too, have things that we struggle with, things that we don't completely agree with the Church hierarchy about, and things that just don't make sense to us. We also go through dry periods in our spiritual lives and dark nights of the soul.

I'm not any more precious to God than some militant atheist troll on the internet. We're all precious in His sight. We are all His children. He wants nothing more than to welcome us all home. He created us all, He redeemed us all.

Any faith that claims that some people are superior to others is full of it. We are all called to holiness and we all fall short. God loves us all more than any of us will ever understand and He wants a relationship with every single one of us. As the CCC quotes (605), "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer."

Full of it like this baby.

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