Blog di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA – Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa MISSIONARY ONGOING FORMATION – A missionary look on the life of the world and the church
Imagine yourself lying in bed some night having just had a very good time of prayer. You are flooded with strong, clear feelings and images about God. On that particular evening you have no faith doubts – you can feel the existence of God.
Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Now … imagine another night. You wake up from a fitful sleep and are overwhelmed by the sense that you don’t believe in God. You try to convince yourself that you still believe, but you cannot. Every attempt to imagine that God exists and to feel his presence comes up empty.
You feel empty and you feel the emptiness of the world itself. Try as you like, you cannot shake the feeling that you no longer believe. Try as you like, you can no longer regain the solid ground you once stood on.
Does this mean that on one of these nights you have a strong faith and on the other you have a weak one? No! On the one night you have a strong imagination and on the other you have a weak one.
On the one night you can imagine the presence of God and on the other night you cannot imagine it. Imagination is not faith.
Daniel Berrigan, in his usual colorful manner, states the issue laconically, crassly, but accurately: Where does your faith live? In the head? In the heart?
Your faith, he assures us, is rarely where your head is at, just as it is rarely where your heart is at. Your faith is where your ass is at! Where are you living? What are you doing? These things – our actions, our charity, our morality – are what determine whether we believe or not.
Passing strange, and strangely true, the posterior is a better indication of where we stand with these than are the head and the heart. For we all have the experience of being within certain commitments (a marriage, a family, a church) where, at times our heads and our hearts are not there – but we are there!
The head tells us this doesn’t make sense; the heart no longer has the type of feelings that would keep us there; but we remain there, held by something deeper, something beyond what we can explain or feel. This is where faith lives and this is what faith means.
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