Friday, January 4, 2013

What does faithful mean?

Does it mean being literally full of faith? Does it mean something akin to "loyalty"? Could it possibly be a combination of the two? Perhaps that and a little more. Do we "get more faith" or "be more faithful"?
So at some point during my too little free time I wondered "what is faith". I mean, as a religious person I've kind of have my own idea but I was wondering if there was perhaps something more definite. Since I'm new to Catholic traditions and teachings, I decided to look at the Catechism first.

143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, "the obedience of faith".
 That appeared to be very much like what I couldn't possible put into words. There are also countless instances where faith is references in the sacred scriptures as well:

Luke 16:10-12
Luke 17:5
John 14:15
Galatians 5:22-23
Matthew 5:28

These are just a few that speak to an aspect of faith. Needless to say they still didn't answer my fundamental question: Is Faith something given, received, finite or infinite? So I kept looking. Next I went to the dictionary:

1.strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
2.true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.
3.steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant: faithful friends.
4.reliable, trusted, or believed.
5.adhering or true to fact, a standard, or an original; accurate: a faithful account; a faithful copy.

1.confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2.belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3.belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4.belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5.a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
So now I'm even more confused that when I started this trek. Everything from being true to a promise to a system of religious believe? Really?

So a do a little more searching, this time I go back to the Catechism. There in 150 I find a little better answer:
CCC:150 Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed. As personal adherence to God and assent to his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature.

It's interesting to me that I keep finding answers in the Catechism. My previous religious tradition I'd have to research and come to a personal reasoning or get an opinion from my preacher or local preachers. Based on the above faith is the personal adherence of man to God. Thus Faithful is then the act. To link further and to follow His teachings, we are to be faithful to each other as we are to our Lord. Makes sense to me.

Now that I'm at a much different place in my life, I find myself examining things like Faith much, much differently. I believe it all falls down upon putting my complete and total trust in God rather than man or myself. I know He's there and is helping me along the way. It's exciting, and very scary to come to that realization that I'm a spec of sand yet He knows my name. My hurts. My aspirations.

My journey continues.....