Faith We Live By

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A talk about living our faith and sharing the faith done at the Divine Mercy In My Soul Community's prayer house with Fr.Russel Bantiles

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Faith We Live By

  1. 1. LIVE BY FAITH, SHARE FAITH Divine Mercy November 16, 2013
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION +Pope Benedict XVI has called us to celebrate the YEAR of FAITH from October 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013. +October 11, 2012 =50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church +November 24 =Solemnity of Christ the King (end also of the liturgical year
  3. 3. REASON for the declaration: .“Pope Benedict XVI sees a crisis of faith in the world, a CRISIS ;… +This CRISIS of FAITH =“AN ECLIPSE OF GOD” +“a kind of amnesia, which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a DENIAL that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity.
  4. 4. The Pope tells us in Porta Fidei that the YEAR of FAITH is a summon[] to AUTHENTIC CONVERSION to the LORD We are being summoned to LIVE OUT our baptism, to live according to the new criterion enunciated by St. Paul: FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE” (Gal 5:6)..
  5. 5. I. FAITH THAT WE LIVE BY +To live by something means =to behave according to a particular set of beliefs or principles; +to live by also means to survive by doing or using something in particular. *“Faith that we live by” would mean “living and behaving according to our faith,” with the hope that by “doing or using” this faith, we would be able to survive or persevere in whatever situation we are in.
  6. 6. Preliminaries “… faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. (cf. Heb 11:1-2).” “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (cf. Heb 11:6) But that faith must be REAL, SOLID and PROFOUND FAITH and not and empty faith.
  7. 7. 1. Three Structural Elements of FAITH a. FAITH as KNOWING (Believing)(Doctrines) =knowing the truth (illumination/assent) (1) by evidence perceive by the senses and the mind (2) by reasoning/logic by deduction or induction (3) by accepting the testimony of someone
  8. 8. +WE KNOW THE TRUTH of our FAITH in this WAY. =we know the truths of faith by accepting the testimony not of human beings alone, but the testimony of God Himself. +By believing, we come to the KNOWLEDGE of the TRUTH not because we are presented with compelling evidence or because we are able to arrive at the truth through reasoning, but because WE ACCEPT GOD’S WORD FOR IT.
  9. 9. +There are truths of faith which we never arrive at by OBSERVATION or REASONING alone. *For example, we can NEVER KNOW by observation or reasoning alone that Jesus Christ is TRUE GOD as well as TRUE man *But, we accept this central truth because of the testimony of God in the Bible (Jn 1:1, 14)
  10. 10. *It is reasonable to believe something on the testimony of God because God is more trustworthy that our senses and power of reasoning. God’s word is more reliable than any human evidence or reasoning. *Thus, faith can be described as “EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN” (Heb 11:1).
  11. 11. “…there is a certain “LEAP” needed to believe. *There must be a credible external testimony by a credible witness, and an internal illumination of grace. *Then the MIND has to be “NUDGED” (gentle push)by the WILL to accept what it cannot perceive. And the WILL itself has to be “NUDGED” by the GRACE of GOD so that it may move the MIND (intellect) to give its “YES” to the TRUTH being proposed to it.”
  12. 12. “From all this, we can see that FAITH as BELIEF (believing the truth) is a GRACE, a free GIFT OF GOD. “While faith is a GIFT from GOD, the ACT of FAITH (believing) under grace is a FREE HUMAN ACT. +“How grateful we should be for the GIFT of FAITH, for the GIFT of BELIEVING
  13. 13. responsibility is to strive to grow in the knowledge of what God has revealed to us as these have been taught to us by the Church, which Christ constituted as our teacher in matters of faith and morals.
  14. 14. b. FAITH as TRUSTING =confidence/trustful reliance +centurion (Mt.8:10):his TRUST and CONFIDENCE that Jesus could heal his servant just by His WORD. +woman with a hemorrhage (Mt. 9:20-22). +The Canaanite woman’s TRUST in Jesus’ power to drive out the demon from her daughter (Mt.15:28). +Peter was reproachfully called “O man of little faith” (Mt.14:31)
  15. 15. “We trust a person if we perceive these TWO QUALITIES in HIM: 1. He CAN (capacity, ability; able and competent) 2. He CARES (concerned; has the feeling of affection)
  16. 16. +“God is all-powerful. He can do all things. Nothing is impossible to Him. +More importantly, God is LOVE and CARES for us more than anybody cares.
  17. 17. c. FAITH as PERFORMING (doing, OBEDIENCE) -Our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that not everyone who calls to Him, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do with will of His Father (Mt. 7:21) -The one who is TRULY OBEDIENT is not the one who says he will obey, but the one who ACTUALLY OBEYS (cf. Mt 21:28-31). -Our Faith must be translated into ACTION. =FAITH without WORKS is dead (James 2:17).
  18. 18. II. FAITH THAT WE SHARE In His Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei (Door of Faith), Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes that “believing is not a private matter,… faith has a social responsibility…” The CBCP Pastoral Exhortation on the Era of New Evangelization also shares the same thought by encouraging us: LIVE CHRIST, SHARE CHRIST – highlighting the connection between faith and evangelization.
  19. 19. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, no. 2, “the Christian vocation is by its very nature a VOCATION to the APOSTOLATE”, and that it is incumbent upon every believer to be a BRINGER of the GOOD NEWS to others. “It is unthinkable that a person should believe the Word and submit himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn” (E.N, 24, Paul VI).
  20. 20. F= FOCUS/FIX YOUR EYES ON CHRIST SUGGESTED TIPS Maintain your focus on the Lord who is the very content of your faith. -Remember the story in the Bible about Peter walking out onto the water when Jesus called to him? He kept walking above the water as long as he stayed focused on Jesus. But once he focused on the storm, he sank. -To evangelize, Pope Francis said, is to focus "on the essential, that is, on Jesus Christ," on his love and on loving others as he did. This also entails intensifying your prayer life.
  21. 21. A=ACTIVATE CHRISTIAN VIRTUES -Mobilize the spiritual strength which you have receive in baptism. Saying you're a Christian is one thing, but living it in tangible ways every day is something else. The Word says, "They'll know them by their fruit." DILIGENCE: +zealous and careful nature in one’s actions and work; +steadfastness in belief; +the capacity of not giving up; +monitoring one’s own activities to guard against laziness/indolence +upholding one’s conviction at all times, especially when no one else is watching
  22. 22. +PATIENCE: +forbearance and endurance through moderation +resolving conflicts and injustice peacefully +creating a sense of peaceful stability and community rather than hostility and antagonism.
  23. 23. +COMPASSION It is MORE THAN a MINDSET. *It is LOVE in ACTION. +COMPASSION is the spontaneous, consistent, helpful RESPONSE to the needs, the pains, and the sufferings of others. +Compassion flows from a profound sense of the inter-connectedness of all people as children of God.
  24. 24. CONVERSION Conditions of Conversion (Mga gikinahanglan elemento o requirements aron masinati ang kabag-ohan a. Humble Admission of sin and guilt =Ps 51:14: “A humble contrite heart O God you will not spurn. =humility is a prerequisite to true knowledge of self; it is the capacity to see ourselves as we really are b. Readiness to the Efforts of Moral Renewal (1)Mobilization of spiritual energies (2).Work for it
  25. 25. I=INSPIRE OTHERS BY BEING ON FIRE (cf. Faith and Evangelization [the Passion to Evangelize] by Bsp. Bacani, pp. 95ff) (“You cannot inspire if you are not on fire” Cardinal Arinze [world congress for families] +Evangelization must never deteriorate into being merely a routine or obligation, but must always be a WORK of LOVE, love for God and for people. +Evangelizers must not look like defeated, exhausted people but must remain peaceable and joyful even in the worst of circumstances. +“The New Evangelization needs evangelizers who are on fire because they have a passion for God and His will, and for people and their salvation. This passion for evangelizing can only come from the Holy Spirit who was given to the first disciples in the form of fire. And it is received in prayer from that same Holy Spirit when we beg Him insistently, ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come! Let your fire fall!’”
  26. 26. T=TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT and DIGNITY Treat people with respect and dignity, no matter the circumstances. Whenever you have the opportunity, show how you don't change how you treat people, no matter what. Jesus treated people right, even when they mistreated Him. People around you will wonder how you're able to show this kind of respect for others.
  27. 27. H=HONOR GOD’S WORK IN OTHERS (by sharing it) (cf. Leadership Thought, pp. 145ff) TWO Possible REASONS why a person/leader would not share (honor) God’s work to others: 1. When a person/leader is insecure. -He finds it threatening if his members (other people) will find out that his programs are mere borrowed ideas from others. 2. When a leader has a problem with identity. -He wants his members/other people to believe more in him. Only a person who has problem with his identity would keep the identity of his source unknown to his people.
  28. 28. +This is what the Pharisees/high priests displayed at the early years of the Church. +They did not only prevent God’s work form prospering; they even threatened those who were propagating it. (Acts 5:17-20 )
  29. 29. If we truly are building God’s Kingdom, then we must exalt the work of God! We must also exalt God’s work in others – not suppress it or make it appear it’s ours. It’s not ours; it’s God’s. (Ephesians 2:10=For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.).
  30. 30. Our attitude should be like that of St. Paul. When he was in prison and heard that some people, whom they didn’t know and for whatever purpose, were preaching the Lord’s name, he exhorted his followers: “What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” (Philippians 1:18)
  31. 31. CONCLUSION Faith is truly a gift from God. And as a gift, we need to nourish it not only by living by it, but also by sharing it to others, through 1. Fixing/Focusing our eyes on Christ 2. Activating our Christian virtues 3. Inspiring others by being on fire, by enthusiasm 4. Treating others with respect and dignity 5. Honoring God’s work in Others

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