“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3,16)
We should make these words of Christ reverberate always in our mind and heart. No matter what happens in our life, we should be confident that God is always merciful. We know that our human condition is always in a precarious state, given our strong tendency to misuse our freedom. But regardless of how we misuse it, God will always understand us and offer us his mercy as long as we at least are open to it.
In the whole history of God’s supreme project of creating and redeeming us, he knows how abusive we are of his goodness. We of course suffer the consequences of these abuses. But at the end of the day God through Christ in the Spirit is willing to bear the consequences of our sins if only to bring us back to him.
As a psalm would put it, “He is full of compassion, forgave them their sin and spared them. So often he held back his anger when he might have stirred up his rage. He remembered they were only men, a breath that passes never to return.” (78,38-39)
Given that condition of our life, we should just try our best to behave as best that we can. And when we fail again, let’s never doubt God’s ready mercy. Let’s ask for it as well for more grace, so we can grow in the appropriate virtue to counter our weaknesses and temptations.
We cannot deny that there are just too many natural challenges and difficulties for us to handle with a certain ease and confidence. Especially these days when the pace of development is faster, and the developments themselves are more complicated and tricky, we need to have a strong faith to see things properly.
Our sense of confidence should spring from a faith that gives us the ultimate meaning and proper direction to all our human knowledge and endeavors. It is what gives the original perspective to all events, good or bad, in our life. Otherwise, we would end up confused and lost.
We also need to make our faith grow to cope with the multiplying infranatural consequences of our human condition that is weakened by sin. There’s no other way to manage and survive the consequences of sin, ours and those of others, personal as well as the collective and structural, than by relying first of all on our faith. Without faith, we will find no exit, no relief from this wounded status of ours.
That’s why St. Paul said: “Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph 6,16) Faith holds pride of place in our armory to wage that lifelong battle with our wounded flesh, the temptations of the world, and the tricks of the devil.
Without faith, we would be easy prey to these enemies of our soul. Without it, we most likely would be filled with fear and anxiety, if not sadness and desperation. Faith unites us to the tremendous power of God over any kind of evil, self-inflicted or caused by others.
There’s no way we can achieve our ultimate goal without faith. With God, we have everything. As St. Teresa de Avila would put it: “Solo Dios basta!” (God alone is enough!)*