In the “What is Faith?” post I had said, “We cannot believe, or respond as an act of faith without first having been given the grace from God to do so.” Since God graces us with the gift of faith, we are able to use our intellect and free will to believe in the unseen, where “Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace” (Saint Thomas Aquinas ST II-II q.2, a.9).
We are invited to believe, but we are not forced to believe in God. With faith and reason (our intellect), God also gave us free will – to believe or not to believe. Free will must be part of the equation. Think about it – Would you really feel loved by someone, if that person was forced to love you? The answer is no. The same is true for God. He wants people to want to believe in Him, to want to love Him and to want to worship Him. He is always there for us, loving us unconditionally, protecting us, guiding us, etc., no matter what our decision might be. Yet, with faith, we are changed and we grow. God is ready to engage in a loving, thriving active relationship with anyone who chooses to acknowledge and believe in Him. The beauty of it all is that He will come to meet you wherever you are at, even in the darkness, and He will grace you with increased faith in Him. Just simply choose to believe in the unseen God and ask for increased faith.
Once you have asked for increased faith, how will you know that you have received it? For one thing, you will see a change in your belief system. You will use your analytical reasoning skills to discern truth, and you will be drawn to Truth for Truth is good.
Are you ready to enter into a relationship with God, or to strengthen the one you have with Him? Enter into the conversation and give your opinions.
Asking for increased faith is one thing, but then one must also ask, what part do I play in increased faith? We will discuss your part in our next reflection on the virtue of faith. You won’t want to miss it!