Faith is a Journey

 

Faith is a journey of discovery and transformation that moves us beyond the superficial and trivial. Faith gives us the ability to become a light in a world darkened by the sin of self-centeredness. Faith gives us the eyes to see the beauty and interconnectedness of all of creation.

God is not beyond the clouds, hiding in heaven. God is on the ground, down in the gutter with us. God is hidden in the endless stream of busy, messy, mundane moments of everyday life, and in the many tragedies that dot the vast landscape of humanity.

At the heart of every life there is a deep, mysterious pain. My faith tells me that God loves me in my brokenness. And that God loves me fully and unconditionally, even in my darkest, most sinful, most unloving moments. God does not demand perfection; God gives love. The essence of faith is trust…trusting in God’s undivided, unmerited love.

Do you trust that God loves you this very moment, just as you are and not as you should be? No matter how much good you do or how much bad you do, God’s love for you goes unchanged. You can’t make God love you any more, nor can you make God love you any less.

The brokenness of the people I filmed around the world over the last dozen years helped me see that we are all wounded in some way, that we are all in need of the boundless mercy, tenderness and forgiveness of God. My encounter with extreme poverty helped shatter my false ideas, values and illusions, and revealed my clinging selfishness and my complete dependency on God. In these slums, I discovered the radical nature of Christianity.

The Incarnation teaches us that God is humble. The richness of God is revealed in the poverty of Christ.
God lives in our poverty and weakness. Jesus embraced and loved the poor and rejected. Jesus denounced power that leads to injustice and poverty. If the Gospel is not about love and justice, it has been reduced to mere sentimentality.

The struggle against injustice is intertwined with our own struggle to enter into a true and full relationship with God. We need each other, and we need God. True faith is not possible without compassion. I think St. Francis knew that every act of mercy and kindness brought him closer to the reality of God. The saint understood
that the followers of Christ must be in communion with the poor and must be willing to love our enemies.

As people of faith, we are on a journey. While we walk in insecurity, we know that God is walking with us,
that God’s love is reliable. We simply must be attentive to God’s presence as we humbly accept whatever challenges we encounter on our journey through life.

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