In these difficult times for us traditional Catholics we get great hope and consolation by the virtue of FAITH. A virtue is a good habit we work on. So we need to keep working on having faith. Jesus often reminds us that we need “more faith”. Faith that God is in charge and with us right now.
In the Latin Baptism Rite, it begins with the question: N., what do you ask of the Church of God? The Godparent answers: Faith. The priest then asks: What does Faith offer you? and the answer is Eternal life.
We are the apostles of today who say: “Lord, Increase our faith”, because things are so difficult and it “seems” like everything in the Church and out in the world are against us who believe in traditional truth. We also need to remind ourselves that there are good people in the Church and in the world too. They just are not obvious.
And Jesus responds to us: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” St. Luke 17:5. Where is our faith? How much faith do we really have? God help us have more faith.
As we hold on to our traditional Catholic faith, it is encouraging to read the stories in the Bible how the holy men and women “lived by faith and not by sight”. So take the time to meditate on this passage from the Letter of Paul to the Hebrews. Especially meditate on the suffering all these holy people of the Bible went through. Our traditional Catholic faith has been given to us as a precious gift from God. But it also was preserved through the great sacrifices and trials of those who were faithful before us and then passed the true Catholic faith on to us. This passage is long, but well worth the time spent on reading it, meditating on it and reminding ourselves what those who went before us paid to pass on the faith. It comes from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews Chapter 11, 12: 1-4.
“Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.
By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God; that from invisible things visible things might be made.
By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice exceeding that of Cain, by which he obtained a testimony that he was just, God giving testimony to his gifts; and by it he being dead speaketh.
By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had testimony that he pleased God.
By faith Noe, having received an answer concerning those things which as yet were not seen, moved with fear, framed the ark for the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world: and was instituted heir of the justice which is by faith.
By faith he that is called Abraham obeyed to go out into a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he abode in the land dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, the co-heirs of the same promise. For he looked for a city that hath foundations; whose builder and maker is God.
By faith also Sara herself, being barren, received strength to conceive seed, even past the time of age; because she believed that he was faithful who had promised. For which cause there sprung even from one (and him as good as dead) as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
All these died according to faith, not having received the promise, but beholding them afar off, and saluting them, and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth.
For they that say these things, do signify that they seek a country. And truly if they had been mindful of that from whence they came out, they had doubtless time to return. But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered Isaac: and he that had received the promises, offered up his only begotten son; (To whom it was said: In Isaac shall thy seed be called.) Accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Whereupon also he received him for a parable.
By faith also of things to come, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.
By faith Jacob dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and adored the top of his rod.
By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the going out of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents; because they saw he was a comely babe, and they feared not the King’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, denied himself to be the son of Pharao’s daughter; Rather choosing to be afflicted with the people of God, than to have the pleasure of sin for a time, Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure of the Egyptians. For he looked unto the reward.
By faith he celebrated the pasch, and the shedding of the blood; that he, who destroyed the firstborn, might not touch them.
By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as by dry land: which the Egyptians attempting, were swallowed up.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, by the going round them seven days.
By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with the unbelievers, receiving the spies with peace. And what shall I yet say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, Barac, Samson, Jephthe, David, Samuel, and the prophets:
Who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, put to flight the armies of foreigners:
Women received their dead raised to life again.
But others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockeries and stripes, moreover also of bands and prisons. They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted: Of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts, in mountains, and in dens, and in caves of the earth.
And all these being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise, God providing some better thing for us, that they should not be perfected without us.
And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied fainting in your minds. For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:”
We are so blessed to have received our Catholic faith handed on by the suffering saints. May we be glad to suffer for the cause of our Catholic faith and be counted among Jesus and His saints.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.