Lighting the Path Ahead

We’ve been talking a lot about faith here at Cry Woof over the last few weeks; and last week in particular I wrote about the “Light of Faith“, a light that helps us to see things more clearly.

In paragraph 9 of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis takes it one step farther:

The word spoken to Abraham contains both a call and a promise. First, it is a call to leave his own land, a summons to a new life, the beginning of an exodus which points him towards an unforeseen future. The sight which faith would give to Abraham would always be linked to the need to take this step forward: faith “sees” to the extent that it journeys, to the extent that it chooses to enter into the horizons opened up by God’s word.

(My emphasis.) Faith helps us see clearly—but most especially, it helps us to see the path ahead, that path that leads to God. But also, in order to see that path ahead, we need to step forward. Faith is a light unto my path, but not a light unto my sitting still in a complacent lump.

Now, I said I was going to try to reflect on Lumen Fidei in the context of daily life, that is, in a practical way; and three points occur to me.

The first is that if my faith seems drab and endarkened (if that’s a word), I should ask myself whether I’m being a complacent lump. Am I moving in faith? Am I going out of my way to love those around me with God’s love? It’s possible, of course, to feel drab and endarkened in faith even when you’re doing everything right, but I suspect most of us can use a reality check once in a while.

The second is that if I follow that light of faith down the path, it will not only lead me to God, it will also lead me to my vocation, to my calling; or, if I’ve already answered the call, it will lead me to pursue it further and better.

Third, the pope’s words imply that sometimes you need to take a step in the dark, just to make the lights come on. That seems like you might step in the wrong direction accidentally. And so you might, in human terms. But God meets us wherever we happen to be, if only we turn towards him; and that step in the dark, in whatever direction, is a step towards God, who is faithful even when we are not. So, not to worry.

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