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Monday, July 18, 2016

What is Faith?

FAITH. The acceptance of the word of another, trusting that one knows what the other is saying and is honest in telling the truth. The basic motive of all faith is the authority (or right to be believed) of someone who is speaking. This authority is an adequate knowledge of what he or she is talking about, and integrity in not wanting to deceive. It is called divine faith when the one believed is God, and human faith when the persons believed are human beings. (Etym. Latin fides, belief; habit of faith; object of faith.) ....Modern Catholic Dictionary On Line)

I had a really interesting discussion this morning with someone I mentor in my 12-Step program.  Her service commitment is that of a 'speaker seeker' - someone who looks for another member to speak at our home group about the topic of the week.  Because we are a closed meeting of our program, as well as a Step and Tradition Study, we have a specific reading and topic each time we meet and so it is important to invite people who a) have some experience working the steps of our program,  b) understand the traditions of our program and c) are willing to stick to the topic.  The last bit may seem redundant but it really can be difficult.  For instance, it is not unusual to invite someone to speak about Step 8 only to hear a 10 minute presentation on their experience with Step 9.

Our upcoming topic is Step 6; which reads : "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character".  In one part of our literature, this step is described as one that separates the 'men from the boys', implying that working this step is not only difficult but requires a determination and maturity that children do not have.

As we talked this morning, we asked ourselves what the real bedrock principle is behind this step and what we came up with is the principle of 'FAITH'.

So, I went to the Catholic definition of that word and see that in involves the acceptance of the word of another (which makes sense) but that there is an underlying motive that I so often forgot when I was a young woman.  That motive is the authority of the one speaking, their RIGHT to be believed and an acknowledgement of their integrity to not deceive me.

Divine Faith, of course, is my accepting of God's authority in my life, that God knows what is best for me and that nothing in His universe happens in error whether it be something I like or something I dislike.

That, of course, is what causes the struggle..it is my inability to completely trust that what is causing me pain is something being allowed because God knows having my way about that something would not, in the long run, be good for me.

I hate that part.

My prayer today is for God to remove from my desire for something that is not happening in my time frame. 

Why?

I have come to the realization that my demanding of God that such-and-such happen right this minute or within the time frame I have set up is an example of my not fully trusting in God.  While I may pray for things to be different, if my happiness depends upon that difference, that outcome I desire, then I am not granting Him total authority over my life.  I am holding back, determined to show Him that I have a better idea.

My better ideas have always screwed me up, hurt other people and caused me pain.  Always.  I am not kidding...I have never once had an idea about what my life should be or what I should have in it or how I should live that has not cause anguish in the long run.  You may have a different experience but when it comes to me I have got to acknowledge that I have the worst judgment about me and what makes me happy....I make my plans, but unless I am willing to give those plans to God I am in trouble.  I make my decisions and take action, but unless I put the outcome into His Hands I am bound to screw things up.

Today, when I pray for guidance or pray my Novena for a special intention, I must be willing to add that caveat of "if it be Thy Will' to any of my requests.  I am not afraid to make them, but I better be willing to make a deliberate nod towards His authority.

Thank you, God, for my life today exactly as it is....even when I want to?  I would not change a thing.

amen.

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