Where There Is Doubt, Faith
Where there is doubt, faith
I am preparing a class on the St. Francis prayer. This prayer while not necessarily straight from St. Francis is a portrait of the life he led. This was his life. From the moment he saw his first vision until his death he lived the words from this prayer. He was and still is a vibrant example of the gospel life. So, while this prayer may or may not be original with St. Francis it describes not only who St. Francis was, but also what a life following Christ really looks like.
I would like to take each line and reflect on it. I have posted my thoughts on this prayer once before and you can find that blog on this site. I may even write a book based on this prayer.
We now come to the fourth line of this prayer, which is something each of us of faith is called to do; we are called to bring faith where there is doubt. To bring faithfulness to people who doubt is about being a person of peace and love, it is about being present to another person’s problems and saying to them that doubt, pain, and confusion is not the end of the story and there is a possibility of finding a better, healhtier,and saner way of living. The fourth line of the St. Francis Prayer asks for faith. It acknowledges that faith is a gift and asks for more. This could be dangerous. When we ask for faith, we may be given opportunities to have stronger faith. The bible says we live by faith. Anne Lamott says, “When God is going to do something wonderful, He or She always starts with a hardship; when God is going to do something amazing, He or She starts with impossibility.”
Sometimes we doubt. Life will give us every reason and opportunity to doubt, to turn back on what we have had in faith in or hoped to be true. Sometimes we doubt that we will ever be happy or find the love, friendship, and things we believe is what it means to be alive.
Sometimes we question. We question that there is a God of love, that the gospel of grace is the ultimate truth. We question what we have been told from when we were little. We question that we will find a job, our soul mate, a way to go on after tragedy has hit us.
We doubt, we question. This can be a good thing and a way to grow into a more adult faith. There are times when this doubting and questioning can injure more than help. Some people worry about hurting another’s faith and this could be a very bad thing to do, but I believe we should challenge each other to grow into a more mature faith. Our faith needs to mature so we can live right lives in our confusing and broken world.
Gandhi said, “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.” Our faith needs to be strong in the good times, so that when the darkness comes that our faith will help us through whatever comes our way. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” When we have this kind of faith, we can bring it to those who need it. Our faith is nothing without our love for others.
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