Blog # 399 We believe...
One of the more important truths we believe is the fact we are created and destined to live forever, beyond time, beyond physical death. In our limited human capacity as human creatures we cannot even imagine this as it really is, let alone understand it or be in control of it. So it is fitting that we pray for the gift of faith which leads to trust in the Lord's promise of it. Believing, we trust, and trusting we live what we believe.
When we were kids back home, we used to play 'Cowboys and Indians' in our neighborhood streets of New York City, far from the Old West. We would choose sides and divide the gang into cowboys and Indians. Then we would chase one another through the neighborhood, taking captives, riding imaginary horses, shooting imaginary guns and bows and arrows. We were captured, shot, and died many times over before we outgrew the thrill of the game. It was a game of 'make believe'. You acted as if you were an Indian or a cowboy. But it was far from the Old West, and you were actually neither.
In identifying ourselves as believers we could find some similarity to that of identifying ourselves as cowboys and Indians when we were playing a game as children. There are significant differences, however, between the experience of playing cowboys and Indians and the experience of being a believer. In the game, I carry an imaginary gun or an imaginary bow and arrow. I ride an imaginary horse. But faith is not a game. It is not that I think, and act, and speak in a certain way as if I believed a certain truth that has been revealed to me, but because I believe that truth. Because
I believe in God I actually pray. Because I believe in eternal life I am already living forever. It is not as if things were different when it comes to faith, but because they are different that I think
and speak and act differently.
With faith, it is not as if through Baptism I am united with Jesus and the other members of the Church as a branch on a vine, but because I am Baptized I am so united. With faith it is not perhaps or maybe, but for sure. With faith it is not tomorrow, but now. already, by faith yes, but already, for sure. We are created to live forever. That is our faith. To prove it by experience we will have to live forever. By faith it is ours already.