This week we asked a few guest writers to give us their thoughts about faith. The perspectives are from within different Christian churches. We invite you to share your own opinion in the comment section on any of these three posts.
This post is from a Catholic point of view.
Click here to read more from a ELCA Luthern point of view.
Click here to read more from an Pentecostal point of view.
**Editor’s Note: I am happy to invite a good friend of mine to write this week. Rachel Manley. Rachel is also a writer for the blog “Catholic Sistas”. Thank you SO much, Rachel!
As a former Cornhusker, I am so proud and excited to have a guest post on Her View From Home. My family and I currently live in Iowa, but I was born in Hastings, raised in Omaha, and started my own family in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Red runneth deep!
When asked to write about what it looks like to be a person of faith, from my Catholic point of view, I must admit, that I at first floundered. I started at a blank computer screen for some time before eventually turning to prayer. That’s when I realized, the way you live your life IS what it looks like to be a person of faith, this article being a prime example. I needed guidance and inspiration, so where did I turn?
Being Catholic can often mean such an intensely personal relationship with God, that once can easily forget about all of the other things that
make her a faithful person. It of course means knowing Jesus intimately, but there is so much more to being a Catholic woman. Jesus calls us to be Him to others. Each person has dignity simply because he or she is made in God’s own image and likeness. I try to live my life showing that I believe this each day. It’s not just about attending Holy Mass and receiving the sacraments, but it’s about lifting up the meek and making them strong.
I want my children to see that being Catholic means we act and live in a different way from the secular world, we use our hands and feet to do His work here on Earth. It can be in simple ways like making a meal for a friend, praying for the wounded as you see an ambulance drive by, handing a bag of groceries to the homeless man on the corner, smiling at someone at the store, or simply protecting your child’s innocence from an inappropriate TV show.
As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Living the Faith means that you stand strong in your values, and yet you accept others without judgement for who they are.
The beauty of the Mother Church is that if you believe that Jesus instituted the Church and if you believe He gave the Church the authority to teach, then you can have tremendous comfort when you have difficulties or questions. I know that I have thousands of years of history and teaching to guide me as I grow in faith. But, I can also be at peace knowing there are some things that are simply beyond human comprehension and that we won’t know or understand fully until we are in Heaven. I know that there are some things that maybe some spiritual athletes can understand, and although I can’t, I can still trust the teaching of the Church. This fact takes an unimaginable burden off of my shoulders, as I know that I do not have the stamina to decipher every single word of the Bible or any moral matter alone.
I also know that faith is something that I don’t always have to “feel”. Faith is an act of the will and the intellect, not an emotion. If you are at a point in your life where you’re feeling a little spiritually empty, you just have to decide to join your intellect and will with God’s grace and you have Faith.
We all experience incredible highs and despairingly low lows, your faith life can be a crazed emotional roller coaster and that’s fine because ultimately faith is a choice. This is good news, because the good Lord knows that with my 4 children ages 4 and under, this pregnant Momma has her bad days.
Finally, if faith is a gift, as I’ve often heard it described, then I offer you one more thought. Imagine this perfectly wrapped gift under the Christmas tree, perhaps it even has that burgundy Borsheim’s bow that I sometimes fantasize about. It sits under the tree waiting to be opened on Christmas morning, but you don’t open it. In fact you decide to let it sit there under the tree.
Time passes, it’s July and still the gift sits.
Surely not one of us could allow this to happen, we would never knowingly leave a present unopened. And so, what is this gift of faith if you do nothing with it? What purpose does it serve if you never untie the bow and put this present to use? I want to share my gift with every breath I breathe, and I pray each day for the strength to do so.
“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!”
-St. Catherine of Sienna
Rachel Manley is a happy stay-at-home mom of five, ages 5, 4, 3, 2, and one. A Nebraska native, she now lives in central Iowa where she often craves Runza, Valentino’s, and Papa Ray’s Pizza. Once a middle school math teacher, she decided to stay home after the birth of her second child and hasn’t looked back…very often. She spends her days reading board books, pushing swings, building train tracks, and giving hugs. By the grace of God Rachel converted to Catholicism in 2004, and soon thereafter married her high school Sweetheart. She strives everyday to do the little things, as St. Thérèse did, and to live her life pleasing to Him.