THE FAITH THAT SAVES
St. Augustine states:
"The soul of thy soul is faith." The author of faith is the Holy
Spirit who manages Christ's cause in the world and against the world. And
what is the law of faith? It is being saved by grace, says St. John
Everywhere, we have need of
faith -- faith, the mother of blessings, the medicine of salvation, without
which it is impossible to possess any one of the great doctrines.
Without faith, men are like
to those who attempt to cross the open sea without a ship, who for a little
while may hold out by swimming. . .but are quickly swamped by the waves.
Such are the ones who trust in their own reasons.
Faith may live in a storm,
but it will not suffer a storm to live in it. As faith rises, so the
blustering wind of discontented troublesome thoughts go down. In the same
proportion that there is faith in the heart, there is peace also. They are
Through faith, Christ
removes both fear of death and weariness of life, states St. Hilary. Faith
produces patience, calmness and thoughtfulness; and where the habit of quiet
thoughts are deepest in the mind, the character is ever most gentle, pure
Christ decreed that the way
to obtain the gift of faith from God is through a life of prayer, fasting
and good works. Let us just see the first, prayer.
The habit of prayer builds
up faith. St. Augustine says, and disposes us to trust in the Lord rather
than in ourselves. And where there is no faith, there is no prayer. Who
would pray for something he did not believe in: "But how can people
call on him in whom they do not believe." Thus, prayer produces faith
and faith improves prayer. If and when we reach prayer with perfect
faith, then "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
We must believe, then, in
order to pray; and we must pray that faith may not fail us. Faith gives rise
to prayer and this prayer obtains an increase of faith. Faith gives rise to
prayer and is in turn strengthened by prayer. It was to guard against their
faith failing in times of temptation that the Lord told His disciples:
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
The importance of prayer
for the acquiring, maintenance and preservation and perfection of faith was
shown by Christ. But prayer is not enough; there must also be fasting and