Tuesday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time at Mississippi Abbey

“Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”  This is a candid admission of where we know ourselves to stand in respect to something else, something greater than self.

The firmness of faith is the difference between a costume and a religious habit. The humility so central to monastic life is founded in its first step on the object of that faith and mindfulness of God. One’s sense of personal worth is proportioned to this faith and the worthiness of its object. In other words, when the object of faith is in our Creator and eternal God, personal worth comes from being a favored creature of that God. This gives us character and the ability to stand firm when occasions of sacrifice occur.

Thus, faith cannot be in a “neat idea” or something currently fashionable. It cannot be in episodes of satisfaction. There is no firmness in those. A firm faith must be placed in what is pervasive, enduring, and deep. It must be important-in-itself. And that experience must be given and received.