Holding onto Faith

I am fond of reading the lives of the saints. I find the lives of the saints inspiring and, at the same time, beautiful and captivating. One of my favorite books on saints is about Saint Teresa of Calcutta. The book is an anthology of her letters. I am astonished at how her writing revolves and centers on God. A common theme among her letters, particularly to her spiritual director and bishop, was about the ‘lack of a sense of God’ in her life. This came as a shock to me. Is this true for a saint who is famous for her work among the poorest of the poor? She was always seen smiling and giving encouragement to others to love God and have faith in Him. There are pictures and testimonies about her caring for and even kissing a dying man.

Some of her critics dismissed her as a hypocrite because she acted against what she was experiencing. It is really difficult to reconcile what were seen in her actions and what she was experiencing within.

In the Gospel, when the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, the Lord simply told them a faith, even just the size of a mustard seed, could command a tree to be uprooted and transplanted in the sea. Jesus tells the disciples that they can do great and extraordinary works even with just a small amount of faith.

I now understand how Mother Teresa of Calcutta was able to do great works of love for the Lord. In her seeming lack of faith, she continued to long for, believe, trust, hold onto, and love God. She was indeed a woman of faith since she stubbornly believed despite having no feelings and consolation from God.

May God increase my faith. May I persevere more in His service and love.

By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco

Today’s Gospel

Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied,
“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.

“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, ‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'”

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