Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

catechetical resourses for the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative RCIA in

the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative adult

education in the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

Exploring the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative Early

Church Fathers
Crossroads Initiatitve, a ministry of Dr. Marcellino

   D'Ambrosio        
 
 
 

Belief or Faith?

Dr. D'Ambrosio - Holy Land Pilgrimage

 

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio - God Our Father, the Lord’s PrayerBelief or Faith?

 

by: Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio

God in America

Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America.  Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.”

 

But belief and faith are not quite the same thing.

 

When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there.  Nothing wrong with having such a conviction, of course.  But bear in mind that Satan has no doubts about the existence of God.  He just refuses to serve him.

 

Child belief in God

True biblical faith involves must more than conviction.  It is not only “belief that” but “belief in.”  When we have faith in a child or a lover who may have self-doubts, we look the person in the eye and say “I believe in you.”  More than just conviction, we have confidence in that person . . . that he or she won’t let us down.  Faith in someone means that we can entrust ourselves to that person, that we can take a risk, allow ourselves to be vulnerable because the person is trustworthy.

 

When a couple says “I do” at the altar, this is the faith they are publicly expressing in each other, a trust that leads to mutual commitment.  Because of this faith, they pledge to be faithful to each other, to be true, to be loyal, to entrust themselves to one another and serve one another for the rest of their days.

 

This is what Joshua asks of the Israelites in this Sunday’s first reading.  He didn’t ask them if they believed in the existence of the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He asked them who would serve the Lord.  And the people responded that yes, they would serve him, based on the faithful way the Lord had provided for them.  He had proved to them that He was worthy of their trust by the way he had delivered them from evil and taken care of their every need.

 

Marriage Catholic Faith

This is echoed in Ephesians teaching on marriage.  Husbands and wives believe in each other enough to commit themselves, to give themselves to each other totally.  Part of what we human beings have to give to another is our future.  Total commitment therefore has to mean that we give ourselves forever, without reservation.

 

It’s one thing to say yes, I believe in you, I entrust myself to you, I commit myself to you. It’s quite another to live it day in and day out.  Certain moments come that put this commitment of faith to the test.  Lots of disciples followed Jesus and liked his healings and his profound words about God’s love and how the meek shall inherit the earth.  But when he started talking about eating his body and drinking his blood, it was just too much for many to bear.  Some complained and scoffed.  Many silently slipped away.  Many spouses slip away in similar fashion when the going gets tough.

 

To be truly faithful to another human being till “death do you part” is hard enough.  Thankfully God offers the spiritual power of grace through the sacrament of matrimony to all those courageous souls willing to rise to the challenge.  But to be truly faithful to a God whom you can’t see is humanly impossible.  It takes the supernatural gift of grace.  That’s what Jesus means in John 6:44 that “no one can come to me unless the Father draws him.”

 

Faith is a gift from GodSo true biblical faith entails faithfulness or lifelong commitment, come what may.  It is a supernatural gift that only God can give.

 

But that’s not an excuse for doubt and unfaithfulness.  Faith is a gift, but is also a virtue, which is like a spiritual muscle.  It is given to each one who is born again through baptism, just like muscles are given to everyone born into this world.  Are your muscles weak?  Perhaps that’s because you haven’t exercised them?  Is your faith weak?  Perhaps its for the very same reason.

 

For Spanish - Click Here!

 

Follow Us -

Join us on FacebookJoin us on Facebook

 

 

Join us on TwitterJoin us on Twitter

 

 

 

Be a part of the “new springtime” of evangelization!  Your tax-deductible gift helps us use TV, radio, and the web to proclaim the message without compromise but in language even the young can understand.  Click here to donate now.

 

This was originally published in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical cycle B (Josh 24: 1-18; Ps 34; Eph 5:21-32; Jn 6:60-69).  It is reproduced here with the permission of the author.

 

Download and Print The Prodigal Son

Click here to download and print Confidence in Faithfulness!

 

For more Catholic resources to feed your faith, visit the Crossroads Initiative Homepage.

 

Win a Free CD - Catholic Online Resources

 

To sign up for our free weekly e-mail with Dr. D'Ambrosio's commentary on the Sunday readings, liturgical feasts, updates on where Dr. D will be speaking, a chance to WIN a FREE CD and MORE, CLICK HERE!

 

 

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith - DVD Set
In this dynamic, four-part faith formation series, on the Creed, Dr. D'Ambrosio explains how this expression of the basic beliefs of Roman Catholicism is relevant to our personal relationship with God.

 


Great Adventure Bible Time Line by Jeff Cavins - DVD
Bible Timeline StudyThe first in the series of Great Adventure Bible Study allows you to have Jeff Cavins as your personal Bible teacher in this one-of-a-kind DVD (or CD) series. This series offers a compelling overview of God’s plan of salvation. Developed by a converted protestant minister, this amazing series will help you develop a greater appreciation of scripture!

 


 

Adventures in Revelation 10-Week DVDs
 Great Adventure Bible Study, Adventures in Revelation The fourth foundational study of The Great Adventure Bible Study Series is here! In this intriguing look at one of the most talked-about books in Scripture, Jeff Cavins explores Revelation to demonstrate how the Kingdom established by Christ in His Church is intimately connected with the Kingdom of Heaven, especially through the celebration of the Mass.

 


 

T3 Teen Bible Study 8 Part Series - DVD
 Presented by Mark Hart, a dynamic speaker who has his finger on the pulse of today’s Catholic teens, T3 is the foundational teen Bible study based on the popular Great Adventure Bible Timeline seminar created by Jeff Cavins. T3 unpacks God’s Word in a manner teens can relate to by showing them the “big picture” of salvation history, and it gives them an overview of Scripture—and then leads them deeper into its riches.  Presented by Mark Hart, a dynamic speaker who has his finger on the pulse of today’s Catholic teens, T3 is the foundational teen Bible study based on the popular Great Adventure Bible Timeline seminar created by Jeff Cavins. T3 unpacks God’s Word in a manner teens can relate to by showing them the “big picture” of salvation history, and it gives them an overview of Scripture—and then leads them deeper into its riches.


Psalms: The School of Prayer 10 Part Bible Study 6 DVDs
 Psalms: The School of Prayer 10 Part Bible Study 6 DVDs With Psalms: The School of Prayer, The Great Adventure moves from telling the Story to making it personal. While the historical books of the Bible recount God’s creative and redemptive acts in history, the Psalms reveal Israel’s response to God’s covenant offer and serve as a model for our response to Him. Indeed, one could say that the historical books tell the "outside" of the story of Israel by giving an historical perspective, while the Psalms tell the "inside" story, which comes from the deeply personal perspective of one who is seeking God. Our communication with God is enhanced by a deeper understanding of the book of Psalms and of the individual psalms that reside in each of our hearts.


Home | Site Map | Links | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Free Newsletter | Win a CD | Calender | Donate Now!
A ministry of Crossroads Productions, Inc. + PO Box 271227 + Flower Mound, TX 75027 + 1.800.803.0118 + a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.