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January 13, 2008
Is Our Faith A Game?
The primaries are over and we finally have peace from political activists. No more phone calls or visits at all times of the day (or night). The primaries are indeed special to the people of NH but they also take a toll on us. In as much as we complain we also found ourselves mesmerized in front of the television set when it came down to the wire?
On the day before the election there was a news clip that rang true to life. Although it referred to politics, I could not help but relate the idea to our Faith. It went something like this: For many people, elections are like a game. People watch the surveys to see who’s winning and who’s losing. For many people, the elections are not true to life. It’s something that happens as part of a system and we either participate or not. For most candidates, however, the elections are not a game at all. They run for election because they believe they can make a difference for their country. The issues are real and personal. Although it is very tedious to run for office, many candidates feel that it is extremely vital to the well being of our nation.
Regardless of how cynical we may be of the sincerity of this news clip, we must admit that the concept rings true for us if we make the analogy to our faith. Isn’t it true that many baptized Christians see their faith as something to be taken lightly. If they don’t see it as a game, then they see it as something to be “watched” from afar. Sadly, Faith does not seem to be real or personal for many Christians. It is something that has been handed down to them, much like the electoral process, and it is all too often taken for granted.
A good way to measure our sincerity and depth of Faith is to compare our willingness to be engaged in the process of the Faith Life. In order to take this test we must ask ourselves a few hard questions.
1. Are we willing to put our values on the line for others to see, disect, (and possibly to criticize)?
2. Are we willing to become engaged in the demands of Gospel teaching or do we run from this work claiming that we don’t have the time?
3. Do we actually see our Faith as something that is part of our daily lives or do we see it as something to be taken off the back burner every once in a while, when it is convenient, when we are not too tire or too busy?
4.Do we have the stick to itiveness that we need to make a difference in life or are we always eager to quit as soon as we can, (for example, calling it quits when our children have received the sacraments?)
With all the complaining and criticizing we do about politicians, we must admit that they can put us to shame if we compare their degree of engagement, determination and persistence even when things don’t go their way. Perhaps this analogy is a bit flawed but it is close enough to give us the idea. The politicians have now moved on but we are still here, living our lives in Faith. Have we learned anything from the process? If not, think again. It’s worth it.
Lorette P. Nault