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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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« This Says it All | Main | Relations Severed with Amnesty International »

October 07, 2007

Comments

Gabrielle

Much food for thought here, dd. I always think of faith as an infused virtue, and pray for more. You've got me pondering, again. :)

Songbird

I hope it's not necessary for salvation, but I could never ever believe that Jesus ever suffered doubt. I think His Gethsemane pain was built of much, not least of all the height of tiredness of being alone on the planet, especially after 3 years of a life without Mary present every day.. but also, a seeing or an intuition of all of whom and what He would be dying and atoning for. Can we imagine taking on the cost of a Jeffrey Dahmer, a Charles Manson, a Fr. Shanley or Fr. Geoghan, a JonBenet Ramsey killer, a Jim Jones, a Michael Schiavo and his band of legal thugs, and the cost of gays completely adulterating the table of His final and now fulfilled Passover seder? Not to even mention all the rest who ever were, and ever shall be.

But amen, an increase of faith comes about from truly using what you have already been given. And that is what those 3 beads ask Mary in her most holy Rosary to help obtain, an increase in Faith, Hope and Love.

Deacon DW

Yes, Gabrielle, you've got it right on both accounts--faith is the gift of God to us; it is infused in us by him. I think that it's how we go about getting more of it, or being open to receiving an increase, that involves our using what we have already.

Part of being human is having a natural capacity to know God. Because we know God, and because we have the gift of faith, we do indeed, rightly, pray for more.

Undoubtedly, faith is a great gift. By it we see God more clearly, but in honesty as human beings we often struggle with believing. However, what stands in our way more? Our inability to receive faith, or our unwillingness to exercise that which we possess already?

Deacon DW

Songbird, I'd say that Jesus, in being like us--as a human being--had thoughts, or perhaps, stated better, temptations of doubt.

However, this doesn't mean that he gave in to them. It would have been more accurate for me to have said that Jesus agonized at Gethsemane. I think that as a human he wrestled with doubt because we wrestle with doubt, and he was indeed like us. Just because we wrestle with doubt does not mean that we despair. However, we most certainly agonize at times.

However, Jesus' faith never failed him--he was like us in all things except sin.
We can all have times of doubt, or agony, without allowing doubt be the victor--without allowing agony to get the better of us.

In a way this reminds me of Mother Teresa's doubt. Was doubt able to persuade her to abandon her faith? What was the evidence of her actions in the end?

Jesus never doubted God--even crying out from Golgotha, but on more than one occasion do not his disciples elicit his doubts in their regard? Yes, Jesus did have times of doubt, but not ever in doubting God.

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