Ambiguous Faith

One of the challenges is Catholic ministry is that we can sometimes speak in a code, of even non-technical terms, that is filled with embedded assumption. And this, prevents us from not taking those assumptions for granted.

Here’s what I mean, writing in the Introduction for a popular Catholic Bible Study, Andrea Lauren Jackson writes:

When Christians talk about “faith” the word is often used ambiguously. Consider these phrases:

  • “I was raised in the faith.”
  • “She is strong in her faith.”
  • “I would like to learn more about my faith.”

See the point?

We don’t really know what faith means in any of these phrases. It could mean anything. It could mean a generic hope that all things work out in the end, it could be a belief in a higher power (albeit one detached from everyday life), it could mean rituals, and it could mean one’s faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

This summer and beyond, let’s try and challenge ambiguity with loving attention, with conversation that gives life and precision to what people speak of as faith:

  • What is it someone has faith in?
  • What is your faith?
  • Tell me more about what you believe…
  • Who do you have faith in? Why?
  • How do you know that your faith is real?
  • Why does your faith matter? In this world, and the next?

And more!

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