Many are the men and women who one day were baptized by their parents and today don’t know how to exactly define where they stand on faith. Maybe the first question that arises within is very simple: why believe? Does it change anything in life whether I believe or not? Does faith really do anything?
These questions are born of one’s own experience. There are people who little by little have put God aside from their life. Today God doesn’t count at all for them when trying to direct and give meaning to their existence.
Almost without realizing it, a practical atheism has been lodging itself in the bottom of their heart. They aren’t concerned that God exists or has ceased to exist. All that seems to them to be a foreign problem that’s better to put to one side in order to found life on more realistic bases.
God doesn’t say anything to them. They have gotten accustomed to live without God. They don’t experience nostalgia or any emptiness because of God’s absence. They’ve abandoned faith and everything continues on in their life as good or even better than before. Why believe?
This question is possible only when one «has been baptized with water», but has not discovered what it means «to be baptized with the Spirit of Jesus Christ». When one keeps thinking wrongly that having faith is believing in a list of things way too strange that don’t have anything to do with life, they don’t yet know the living experience of God.
To encounter God means knowing ourself welcomed by God in the middle of loneliness; feeling ourself consoled in grief and depression; recognizing ourself as forgiven of sin and mediocrity; feeling ourself strengthened in powerlessness and futility; seeing ourself led to love and create life in the midst of fragility.
Why believe? In order to live life more fully; to situate everything is its true perspective and dimension; to live even the more trivial and insignificant events more profoundly.
Why believe? In order to dare to be human to the end; to not smother our desire for life reaching into eternity; to defend our freedom without selling ourself to any idol; to remain open to the whole of love, truth, kindness that is in us. In order to never lose hope in human beings or in life.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf