Faith Grows in Darkness

A few weeks ago, I was robbed in Haiti. I lost my passport, my credit cards and all my money. I was thrown to the ground and felt totally helpless. That traumatic incident drove home the point that faith grows in darkness, in a place of weakness where, according to the apostle Paul, we “fall into the hands of the living God.” In darkness and weakness I realize more fully that God, not me, is in control. When I’m in control, there is no need for God.

It’s in the recognition of our true powerlessness and vulnerability that the seeds of faith are planted. Faith grows out of a profound loneliness and desperate longing. Through the eyes of faith we see the emptiness of our perishable lives, and see how we were created for union and communion, with God, our true selves and each other. Faith is an endless exodus to the heart…our own heart and the heart of God.

Faith is more than clinging to a belief or a dogma or merely obeying God. Faith is approaching God and getting to know God and giving yourself to God. And that takes time. And prayer. Faith is an ever-deepening desire to taste God more fully… which primarily happens in the stillness and silence of prayer.

Unfortunately, the pandemic of consumerism and frenetic busyness deadens our capacity for contemplation
and causes a deterioration of our interior lives. Without the stillness and silence of occasional solitude, we easily slip back into the mediocrity of a comfortable Christianity which is no match for the hopeless nihilism of postmodern life where everything is reduced to a commodity for sale.


1 Response to “Faith Grows in Darkness”

  1. 1 Alice Farrell LaChapelle, Albany NY October 11, 2012 at 10:15 am

    A mere “thank you” doesn’t quite express what your blog today has meant to me.

    For my life, up until the age of 46, I was a “cultural” Irish Catholic. On October 1, 1978, I experienced an epiphany that changed my life and my relationship with my Lord and Savior forever. I experienced the feelings of powerlessness and vulnerability that you describe here.

    I was in the throes of agonizing grief at the untimely death of my younger brother with whom I was extremely close and whom I loved dearly. I had no where to go with the pain. I fell to my knees, prostrate before God. Through my anguish and tears, I cried out to Him that I could not stand the pain any longer. I said, “Please help me.” Minutes later, as I stood up, I felt heat consume my entire body, beginning at the top of my head and extending to my feet. As the heat subsided, it was replaced by a feeling, an aura, of utter peace that is still unexplainable because it was not of this world.

    I still miss my brother, but the aching pain has gone, replaced by a scar of memory. My life changed drastically that day. I wanted to tell my story to strangers — to anyone who would listen. But, unfortunately, the “world,” for the most part, does not want to hear things like this. So many peoples’ hearts are closed or clouded by the consumerism and other factors that you cite here.

    I learned of your blog recently and have watched two of your films about your travels in Africa and Haiti and the indescribable conditions that you found in those countries.
    Mr. Straub, how blessed you are to have been chosen by God to bring these messages and pictures to the world. Your brother, St. Francis, would be very proud of you. Be assured that I will do all I can to spread the news about your blog — and your mission — to my family, friends and acquaintences.

    Pax Vobiscum!

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