“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Lk 11,29) With these words of Christ, we are somehow asked to develop a strong faith by going through continuing conversion all throughout our life.
We should be concerned about this matter. Our faith should not remain only in the theoretical, intellectual level. It has to be a functioning one, giving shape and direction in all our thoughts and intentions, our words and deeds. In fact, it should shape our whole life.
The ideal is that we feel it immediately. Indeed, it should be like an instinct such that whatever we think, say or do, or whenever we have to react to something, it is our faith that should guide us.
We have to understand that it is our faith that gives us the global picture of things, since it is God’s gift to us, a gratuitous sharing of what God knows about himself and about the whole of creation. It is meant for our own good, for us to live out our true dignity as children of God, meant to live a supernatural life with God.
It is a kind of knowledge that will lead us to our eternal life. It will make us relate everything in our earthly life, both the good and the bad, to this ultimate goal in life which is to be in heaven with God, a state that is supernatural. But it is a divine gift that we need to take care of. It is like a seed that has to grow until it becomes a big tree and bears fruit.
For this, we really need to have a living contact with Christ who is the fullness of God’s revelation to us. He is the substance, the content and the spirit of our faith. So, the first thing that we have to do is to look for him always in whatever thing we are thinking, saying or doing.
We have to realize then that for our faith to grow ever strong, we need conversion always. Given the temper of the times that would desensitize us strongly of this need, we really have to remind ourselves constantly that we need conversion all the time in our life, and then come out with a practical, doable plan to respond to that need.
This is simply due to our very precarious condition in life. No matter how good, pious and saintly we think we are, we cannot deny that in this life we will always be assailed by the enemies of God and of our soul.
We have our weakened flesh to contend with, in the first place. Then the world around us is full of temptations. And the devil will always be scheming for our downfall, setting up traps everywhere for us.
As the Book of Job would put it, “The life of man upon earth is a warfare.” (7,1) We have to get over the myth that in this life we can achieve a stable state of sanctity and that therefore we do not need to struggle anymore.
The opposite is quite true. The closer we get to God and the more determined we are in seeking holiness, the more vicious and deceptive would also be the temptations to block us in our way. At best, whatever state of holiness we can achieve in this life will always be tenuous. We need conversion always!*