Faith and Doubt

…strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. (Eph. 3)

Blessed Theophylact, commenting [1] on this passage writes,

This means that Christ will make His abode in your hearts, not superficially, but in the depths thereof.  How does this happen? “By faith.”

Herein lies a problem for modern man: I believe we are truly a generation of people who severely lack faith, myself included.  In practical matters, we turn to science for all explanations, ignoring the spiritual element that at times may be the cause for that which science can measure and detect.

In religious matters, we are perhaps faring even worse.  Popular authors who write about Christianity appear edgy to their readers by embracing doubt, as if it were something novel and virtuous.  One such author wrote a book subtitled To Believe Is Human, To Doubt Is Divine. Continue reading Faith and Doubt

Reflection: Faith

Below I continue my series from St. Justin Popovich.  This is my favorite article I have ever read on faith because St. Justin makes it so practical.  Faith is far more than an ascent to a certain philosophical position, but is the fruit of the struggle to reach our first step of union with God.

St Justin PopovichIt is by the ascesis of faith that the treatment and cure of a soul which is sick with the passions is begun.  Once faith begins to live in a man, the passions begin to be uprooted from his soul.  But until the soul becomes intoxicated with faith in God, until it comes to feel faith’s power, it can neither be healed of the passions nor overcome the material world.  There is both a negative side to the ascesis of faith, freedom from sinful matter, and a positive side, oneness with God.

The soul, which was dispersed by the senses among the things of this world, is brought back to itself by the ascesis of faith, by fasting from material things and by devoting itself to a constant remembrance of God.  This is the foundation of all good things.

Freedom from enslavement to sinful matter is essential for advancement in the spiritual life.  The beginning of this new way of life is found in the concentration of one’s thoughts on God, in incessant pondering on the words of God, and in a life of poverty.

Through faith the mind, which was previously dispersed among the passions, is concentrated, freed from sensuality, and endowed with peace and humility of thought.  When it lives by the senses in a sensual world, the mind is sick.  Continue reading Reflection: Faith