The Power of Faith
Presence of God – “I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief; increase my faith” (Mark 9:23, cf Luke 17:5).
Jesus has said: “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:22). It would seem that before an act of living faith, blind, unconditional faith, God does not know how to resist and considers Himself almost obliged to grant our requests. The Gospel tells us this on every page: before Jesus performed a miracle, He always asked for an act of faith. “Do you believe that I can do this unto you?” (Matthew 9:28); and when faith was sincere, the miracle took place immediately. “Be of good heart, daughter,” He said to the woman who was troubled with an issue of blood, “thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9:22). Jesus never said, “My omnipotence has saved you, has cured you,” but your faith, as if to make us understand that faith is the indispensable condition that He requires if we are to benefit from His omnipotence. He, the Almighty, will use His omnipotence only for the benefit of those who firmly believe in Him. This is why the divine Master refused to perform in Nazareth the many miracles He performed elsewhere. The more lively our faith, the more powerful it is with the very power of God. “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” Jesus affirmed, “you shall say to this mountain, ‘Remove from hence hither,’ and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:19). These words are true, literally true, like everything in the Gospel; if they are not effectual for us, it is only because our faith is very weak. How many difficulties we meet with in life which are for us real mountains to move! Difficulties in the spiritual life: faults we cannot overcome, virtues we cannot seem to acquire; difficulties in our everyday life: insufficient means of support, duties which surpass our ability or our strength…. And we stop, discouraged, at the foot of these mountains: “It is impossible, I cannot do it!” It would take only a little faith like a grain of mustard seed, which is very tiny indeed. But provided that faith is living, capable of sprouting like the mustard seed, provided that faith is certain, resolute, supernatural, and that it counts only on God and trusts in His Name alone, this faith will confront every difficulty whatsoever with courage. Oh! if we could only have such faith! “Nothing is impossible to him that believeth.”
“O my Lord and my God, so weak is our faith that we desire what we see more than what faith tells us—though what we actually see is that people who pursue these visible things meet with nothing but ill fortune.
“If then, grave difficulties appear, oh! how the devil rejoices—if for no other reason than to weaken our faith and to persuade us not to believe, O Lord, that You are powerful and can do works which are incomprehensible to our understanding.
“May You be blessed, O my God! I acknowledge Your great power. If You are mighty, as indeed You are, what is impossible to You who can do all things? Miserable though I am, I firmly believe that You can do what You will; and the greater the marvels I hear of You, the stronger grows my faith, and the more do I reflect that You can work others yet greater. How can I wonder at what is done by the Almighty?” (Teresa of Jesus Interior Castle (also known as The Mansions) II-1, VI-3; Exclamations of the Soul to God 4).
“Not to believe in You, O my God, requires more faith than to believe in You! Your love for me is so great that I no longer need faith to believe in it” (St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).
“O my God, You are love and omnipotence. You know all, You can do all, You will all, and You guide all for Your own glory and for our advantage. What faith I draw from these truths! What confidence, peace, and love they give me! I know that even when You are not giving me anything tangible, You are still my God, always providing lovingly for the work of Your hands. Hence, I hide myself in You with faith, to withstand the violence of the storm, certain that, when it pleases You, by Your divine omnipotence, You will make the dead rise again” (cf Bl. M. Thérèse Soubiran).
No, my God, the strength of Your arm is not lessened. If you do not perform miracles in my favor, it is only because my faith is weak. Help my incredulity, O Lord: increase my faith!
Note from Dan: This post on the power of faith is provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contains one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.
Art for this post on the power of faith: Partial restoration of Blessed Maria Teresa de Soubiran [1834-1889], photographer unknown, by 1889, meets public domain criteria, from open source material. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.