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VIRTUE AND VICE


 

 

GREAT FAITH

Keep faith and it will keep you and all the other graces. You stand by faith; if that falls, you fall. And where shall you fall? Under the enemy's feet. Thus, St. John Chrysostom warns us: He who but partially pares away the image on a royal coin vitiates the whole; so he who swerves ever so little from the pure faith soon proceeds from this to graver errors, and becomes entirely corrupted.

Abraham had great faith because he believed God though what was promised him was an impossibility. Thus, he hoped against hope. From this we learn that if God promises even countless impossibilities, and he that heareth doth not receive them, it is not the nature of things that is to blame, but the unreasonableness of him who receiveth them not, says St. John Chrysostom.

Life eternal is the wage of Faith; with faith, God seems, indeed, to be bestowing life eternal as if repaying a debt, states St. Augustine. With such great faith, one's belief is unfeigned and one's love is without dissimulation.

The sign of great faith is perfect humility. So while the noble man found himself worthy to have Christ as his guest, the centurion found himself unworthy to have Christ: "Lord, I am not worthy that thou should enter my house. . ." Thus, the centurion, because of his perfect humility, showed the  greater faith. Without this perfect humility, there is no faith. And this humility is attained through a life of prayer, fasting and good works.

The Apostles also showed great faith; shown by the sign that they left all things. To leave all things, i.e. father, mother, brothers and sisters and lands, is undeniably a sure sign of great faith. Nevertheless, the apostles prayed to Christ: "Lord, increase our faith." Though they had great faith, they did not have perfect faith.

 

 

  

(12-07-02)

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