Faith

According to the dictionary: from the Latin word fide: confidence; religious belief; conviction with regard to someone or something; firmness in fulfilling a commitment; credit; intention; theological virtue.

According to Jesus Christ: The apostles said to the Lord, “Give us more faith.” And the Lord said: “If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you could have said to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and planted in the sea,’ and it would have obeyed you!” (Luke, 17: 5-6)

According to Buddhism: “We are what we think. Through thought we build and destroy the world.

“We are what we think. Your imagination can do more harm than your worst enemy.

“But once you control your thoughts, no-one can help you so much, not even your father or your mother.” (Extract from Dhammapada, a collection of some of Buddha’s principal teachings)

For Islam: “How do we purify the world?” asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied: “There was a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his wisdom, but no-one knew if he was a good man. One afternoon a flaw in construction caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife to fall down. In despair, the neighbors began to dig among the ruins. After a while they managed to locate the wife.

“She said: ‘Leave me. First save my husband, who was sitting more or less over there.’ The neighbors removed the debris from the place she had pointed to and found the sheik, who said: ‘Leave me. First save my wife, who was lying down more or less over there.’

“When someone acts like this couple, they are purifying the whole world through their faith in life and love.”

The faith of denying reality: “One year ago I gave a speech in an aircraft-carrier saying that we had succeeded in reaching an important objective, accomplishing a mission, which was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. As a result, there are no more torture chambers, no more mass graves.” (George W. Bush, 30 April 2004. In the same month, the world was to see the photos of torturing in the Abu Graib prison, and the collective executions of the civil war between Shiites and Sunites continue up to the moment I write this column).

According to Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlava: A disciple sought out the rabbi and said: “I can’t manage to talk to God.” “That often happens,” replied Nachman. “We feel that our mouth is sealed, or that the words just don’t come out. However, the mere fact of making an effort to overcome this situation is in itself a beneficial attitude.”

“But it isn’t enough.”

“You’re right. At such times, what you should do is look up at the sky and say: ‘Lord Almighty, I am so far from You that I can’t even believe my own voice.’ Because the truth is that the Lord always hears and answers. It is we who do not manage to talk, for fear that He will pay no attention to us.”

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Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

The Witch of Portobello is also about a faith, religion and doubts. What is your relation to the religion and church? In spite of your Jesuit education you tend to kind of personal faith based on love…

I grew up, like almost all Brazilians, in a strictly Catholic family. Later, at the age of rebellion, I doubted about Catholicism, and felt that I must try something new. Then I became a hippie. During this time, I travelled a lot, met people of different backgrounds, and had learnt different paths to come closer to spirituality. After I did a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I returned to the Catholic faith just because it is in my blood, not because it is the best religion.
I am a catholic, but I don’t think you can put God in a church. God is everywhere. All religions have advantages and disadvantages.
Furthermore I don’t think love is at odds with Christianity. Jesus message was above all a message of love to humanity.

Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

The Warrior of Light does not always have faith.
(Manual of the Warrior of Light)

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Quote of the Day

By Paulo Coelho

We arrive precissely where we need to arrive
because the hand of God always guides
those who follow their path with faith.
(Brida)

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