Our first readings today and tomorrow are from the First Letter of St. Peter. Today he speaks of our Faith which is more precious than gold. By “our faith” he means our belief that God has made us in his image and that his Son has become one of us to bring us on to happiness.
Living, as we do, in a society where opinionated people contradict our beliefs, we need help in holding on to those beliefs. So, what help is available to us? I can think of four.
The first help for believing is one that might have been recommended to us when we were children. We must believe out of obedience. Such faith is bolstered by its being part of our identity. As good Mormons, or good Muslims, or good Irish Catholics, believing what our people believe keeps us at home with all of them.
A second help for believing is found in beautiful religious literature, especially the Bible, and accounts of saintly lives.
A third help for believing comes from our seeing that our religious beliefs are in accord with our secular beliefs. Thomas Aquinas, in his great exposition of our beliefs, delighted in showing that they were all in accord with the solid thinking of Aristotle. Additionally, every deeper understanding of anatomy and physics has us feeling awe for the intelligent fashioner of these things.
Finally, our religion teaches us that Faith is God’s free gift. There was a man in the Gospel who asked Jesus to cure his son. Jesus asked, “Do you believe I can do this?” and the man answered, “I do believe, help my unbelief.” That’s were we are. By our every prayer we beg God to more fully open our hearts and minds to him.