FAITH {reblogged}

A Divine Intimacy Meditation

Presence of God – O Lord, grant that I may understand the great value of faith.


“Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6) because faith is the foundation of all our relations with Him. For the man without faith, God has neither meaning, nor value, nor place in his life. On the other hand, the more lively our faith is, the more God enters into our life until finally He becomes our all, the one great reality for which we live, and the One for whom we courageously face sorrow and death. It is only when faith has deeply penetrated a soul that it can exclaim with St. Paul, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Romans 14:8). We do not lack faith, but it is not sufficiently alive and practical to make us see God in everything and over everything, thus giving us the sense of His essential, transcendent, and eternal reality, which infinitely surpasses all the immediate, contingent, and passing realities of this life. Faith does not depend upon data received through the senses, on what we can see and touch, nor is it reduced to what we can understand with the intellect, but surpassing all this, it makes us share in God’s own knowledge, in His thoughts, in His understanding. Having raised us to the state of divine sonship, God has made us capable of sharing His intimate life, His life of knowledge and love. For this purpose, He has given us the theological virtues together with grace. Faith allows us to share His life of knowledge, and charity, His life of love.

Faith enables us to know God as He knows Himself, although certainly not exhaustively. God knows Himself not only as the Creator but also as the Trinity and as the Author of grace; it is under these aspects that faith presents Him to us. By faith, we know creatures as He knows them, that is, in relation to Him and dependent upon Him. Our intellect can give us only natural light on God and creatures; faith, on the contrary, gives us the supernatural light that is a participation in the light of God, in the knowledge God has of Himself and of creatures.


“O faith of Christ, my Spouse, I turn to You who enclose and conceal within yourself the form and beauty of my Beloved. You are the clear, limpid fount, free from error, from which the waters of all spiritual good flow to the soul. Did You not assure the Samaritan woman, O Christ, that in those who believe in You would surge a fountain whose waters would spring up into everlasting life?

“O faith, such is the likeness between yourself and God, that there is no other difference, save that which exists between seeing God and believing in Him. For even as God is infinite, so You set Him before us as infinite; and as He is Three and One, so You set Him before us as Three and One; and as God is darkness to our understanding, even so do You blind and dazzle our understanding. And thus, O Lord, by this means alone, You manifest Yourself to the soul in divine light which passes all understanding. Increase, then, O Lord, my faith, for the stronger my faith is, the more closely shall I be united to You.

“O my soul, as God is inaccessible, do not concern Yourself with how much your faculties can comprehend and your senses can perceive, that You be not satisfied with less than God, and lose not the swiftness that is needful to attain to Him. But walk in naked, pure faith, which alone is the proximate and proportionate means to your union with God” (John of the Cross,  Spiritual Canticle 12,1-3 – Ascent of Mount Carmel II, 9,1 – Spiritual Maxims 1,52).

“O infinite Wisdom, O eternal, infinite God, You want to be understood by Your creature because You are the sovereign Good. It can do so, understanding You in the way You show Yourself to it under the veil of faith. It is indeed a veil, but it is translucent since Your word illumines and gives light to the humble. Nevertheless, just as it is impossible for You not to be God, so it is impossible for Your creature to understand You fully. He who wishes to attain to the sublime state of union with You, O Lord, must have great faith. Being the sovereign, infinite, immense, and unsearchable Good, You can be understood only by Yourself. But the more the soul believes in You, so much the more will it come to unite itself to You and participate in Your grandeur” (cf. St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi).


Note from Dan: These posts are provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contain 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: The Virtue of Faith, George Henry Harlow, 1817, PD-US published in the U.S. before 1 January 1923, Wikimedia Commons; Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara and 30 Days with Teresa of Avila. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN’s Journey Home program and numerous radio programs

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I am an Informed and fully practicing Roman Catholic

One thought on “FAITH {reblogged}”

  1. hello- i believe that this guy was a mentor of your’s — Jesus said — his yoke is easy and light.

    Examination of Conscience

    by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.

    If there is one part of the spiritual life that St. Ignatius stressed, it was the daily–and
    even twice daily–examination of conscience.

    As we read the , we may be overwhelmed by the minute detail of
    St. Ignatius’ treatment of what he calls the particular examination of conscience. At the
    same time, he is careful to provide, “Some Notes on Scruples.”

    It is very important, therefore, that we form a clear and correct conscience. This means
    that we cultivate a sensitive judgment which is alert to the least offense against the
    Divine will and, at the same time, protect ourselves against the wiles of the evil spirit.
    “The enemy,” says St. Ignatius, “considers carefully whether one has a lax or a delicate
    conscience. If one has a delicate conscience, the evil one seeks to make it excessively
    sensitive in order to disturb and upset it more easily. Thus, if he sees that one will not
    consent to mortal sin or venial sin, or even to the appearance of deliberate sin, since he
    cannot cause him to fall in a matter that appears sinful, he strives to make the soul
    judge that there is a sin, for example in a word or passing thought, where there is no
    sin” (, 349).

    It is valuable to reflect on this tactic of the evil spirit before we offer some practical
    norms for making our daily examination of conscience. Why? Because otherwise, we
    are liable to overlook the importance of a daily inventory of our moral conduct for fear
    of becoming scrupulous.

    There is such a thing as growing in prudent sensitivity of conscience, without becoming
    a victim of the “enemy” as St. Ignatius calls him.

    We may set this down as a general principle, for those who are sincerely striving to do
    the will of God:

    It is characteristic of God and His angels, when they act upon the soul, to give true
    happiness and spiritual joy and to banish all the sadness and disturbances which are
    caused by the enemy.

    It is characteristic of the evil one to fight against such happiness and consolation by
    proposing fallacious reasonings, subtleties, and continual deceptions (Rules for
    Discernment of Spirits, II, 1).

    What are we to conclude from this? That the more zealous we are in trying to please
    God, the more He will give us a deep interior peace of soul. We should suspect as a
    temptation from the evil one, when we find ourselves worried or anxious or disturbed,
    no matter how pious the source of the worry or anxiety may be.

    The key to applying this principle is that, before God, I honestly want to do His will
    even though through weakness, I may fail to live up to my resolutions.

    One basic virtue on which we should daily examine ourselves is peace of soul. We
    should ask ourselves, “Have I given in to worry or anxiety?” “Have I allowed myself to
    get discouraged?” A good practice is to pronounce the name, “Jesus,” when we find
    ourselves getting despondent, or say some short aspiration like, “My Jesus, I trust in
    you,” whenever we become dejected over something.


    Before applying the particular examen to my own spiritual life, it is well to first ask
    myself, “What are the virtues that I know from experience I most need to develop?”

    The reason why this question should first be answered is that no two of us are equally
    prone to commit the same kind of sins. Nor are we personally always tempted in the
    same direction. There is wisdom in first knowing enough about myself, to be able to get
    to the root of my own moral weakness. Otherwise, I may be ignoring what really needs
    attention in my spiritual life and concentrating on what is not so necessary for me at
    this time in my service of God.

    Moreover, it would be a mistake to suppose that by attending to my moral failings, I
    am being “negative” in my pursuit of holiness.

    On the contrary. In God’s providence, He allows us to fail in those areas in which He
    especially wants us to grow in virtue.

    We can fail in the practice of these virtues either by commission, omission, or by
    tepidity, in not acting as generously as we might in responding to the grace we have
    received from God.


    1 Do I make an honest effort to grow in the virtue of faith by daily mental prayer on the
    mysteries of the faith as revealed in the life of Jesus Christ?

    2. Do I make at least a short act of faith every day?

    3 Do I pray daily for an increase of faith?

    4 Do I ever tempt God by relying on my own strength to cope with the trials in my life?

    5 Do I unnecessarily read or listen to those who oppose or belittle what I know are
    truths of my Catholic faith?

    6 What have I done today to externally profess my faith?

    7 Have I allowed human respect to keep me from giving expression to my faith?

    8. Do I make a serious effort to resolve difficulties that may arise about my faith?

    9 Do I ever defend my faith, prudently and charitably, when someone says something
    contrary to what I know is to be believed?

    10. Have I helped someone overcome a difficulty against the faith?


    1 Do I immediately say a short prayer when I find myself getting discouraged?

    2 Do I daily say a short act of hope?

    3 Do I dwell on my worries instead of dismissing them from my mind?

    4 Do I fail in the virtue of hope by my attachment to the things of this world?

    5 Do I try to see God’s providence in everything that “happens” in my life?

    6 Do I try to see everything from the viewpoint of eternity?

    7 Am I confident that, with God’s grace, I will be saved?

    8 Do I allow myself to worry about my past life and thus weaken my hope in God’s

    9. Do I try to combine every fully deliberate action with at least a momentary prayer for
    divine help?

    10. How often today have I complained, even internally?


    1 Have I told God today that I love Him?

    2 Do I tell Jesus that I love Him with my whole heart?

    3 Do I take the occasion to tell God that I love Him whenever I experience something I
    naturally dislike?

    4 Have I capitalized on the difficulties today to tell God that I love Him just because He
    sent me the trial or misunderstanding?

    5 Do I see God’s love for me in allowing me to prove my love for Him in the crosses He
    sent me today?

    6 Have I seen God’s grace to prove my love for Him in every person whom I met

    7. Have I failed in charity by speaking unkindly about others?

    8 Have I dwelt on what I considered someone’s unkindness toward me today?

    9. Is there someone that I consciously avoid because I dislike the person?

    10. Did I try to carry on a conversation today with someone who is difficult to talk to?

    11. Have I been stubborn in asserting my own will?

    12. How thoughtful have I been today in doing some small favor for someone?

    13. Have I allowed my mood to prevent me from being thoughtful of others today?

    14. Am I given to dwelling on other people’s weaknesses or faults?

    15. Have I been cheerful today in my dealings with others?

    16. Do I control my uncharitable thoughts as soon as they arise in my mind?

    17. Did I pray for others today?

    18. Have I written any letters today?

    19. Have I controlled my emotions when someone irritated me?

    20. Have I performed any sacrifice today for someone?

    Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN

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