Wednesday, December 12, 2007

FAITH: A Paradoxical Reality

I was fascinated with how God saved the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians. The story of the Deliverance at Sea in Exodus 14 was never be the same after knowing the significant implications about this event. This experience of the Israelites was a confirmation that they were really the chosen as people of God. It was the defining moment of the people of Israel as they experienced God’s power that freed them from the slavery of suffering and oppression. God revealed himself as Lord and Savior that brought new hope and life to the Israelites. Beyond no doubt God really intervened into the lives of human beings. He is not indifferent to the needs of his people.
The Paradoxical character of Faith catches my attention because basically I also went through of this kind of experience. Though I grew up in a devout catholic family, I could not help that sometimes I doubt my faith. The practices that the church introduced which I faithfully performed seemed mechanical and useless. I felt like a robot that has been manipulated by somebody. I want explanations to rationalize those practices to enlighten my youthful understanding.
As I become mature the certainty of faith is not a question for me, but sometimes I am overwhelmed with my doubts that would lead to obscurity. Indeed, faith is reasonable but beyond natural reason. It cannot be fathom by human understanding. It is a gift yet our doing. In the time of Moses, the Israelites experienced God’s revelation when God freed them from slavery. But they remain doubtful. They were asking who ‘is’ this power that saved them. They long to glimpse this transcendent God to confirm that what they believe in was true. This is a human tendency. That is why they carved the golden calf to make visible this being who is beyond their reach. This was also what happened to Thomas the apostle-"Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." (Jn.20:25)
Two weeks ago, I watched the film entitled “I’ve fallin for You”. It was a nice movie of a complicated teenage love affair. As I was reflecting about the movie, I came to realized that it was not that hard to build a relationship with the opposite especially in this modern time. On the other side of the coin, creating an intimate relationship with the unseen is not that easy as engaging into a relationship with the opposite sex. Just the same with faith, lisod mag-mugna ug relasyon o pagtoo sa dili makita ug sa dili mahikap but as the Council of Carthage says, faith is a grace. A gift yet our doing (CFC 149)
As I watched the movie I realized somehow that I am getting older. I am not anymore a teenager guy but a young mature person. Gone were the days of happy and exciting memories of courtship; teenage memories that still linger worthy of remembering. Yes, I am still capable of doing those things. I am not that old, but I choose to be what I am because of my faith and strong conviction that I have the vocation.
I have done a lot of breakthrough in my life. Struggles that I made to conquer and sacrifices that I successfully passed through. What made these great things possible? Of course, it is not Globe but surely because of my strong belief that I have the vocation. Certain yet obscure. What makes it obscure? It is precisely because the intellect cannot supply any exact reasonable and empirical evidence to make my claim as certain as scientific knowledge. One statement from the film catches my attention ‘bakit ang cell phone nag lo-lowbat ba’t ang puso hindi mapigilan’. It is true. Our hearts continues to urge us to believe and be certain with our faith. But our mind has its limitation to understand this reality like the cell phone that reaches its limitation. Truly, the heart has its reason which reason does not understand.
How wonderful it is to realize these things†

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