Karen House Catholic Worker
Faith: The Just, Because of their Faith, Shall Live
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Why This Issue:
Paul says somewhere that there are three things that last: faith, hope and charity. Desirous of achieving some modicum of immortality for our publication, we are indebted to St. Paul and have decided to dedicate each of our next three issues to one of these topics, hoping thus that there will be at least three issues of The Round Table that last.
We begin, then, with faith and find that Harry Cargas l reflections on the topic serve as a fine introduction:
In a very real way, faith is responsibility. The person who believes is willing to co-shoulder the burden of creation with the loving God who made the Universe. Therefore, the person of faith is very much like a martyr. One way to measure faith is by realizing what I am willing to sacrifice for it. Just how far am I willing to go to witness my faith? How much do I love? What is the depth of the responsibility I acknowledge?
We are called, in the fullness of our humanity, to become co-creators with God. We are directed in the Christian scripture to renew the face of the earth. Modern theology indicates that in order to create the universe, God had to make a kind of infinite sacrifice. Christianity has at its root another outpouring of love, of responsibility for creation, of sacrifice --the immolation of Jesus on behalf of God's creatures. This act of voluntary death is the paradigm of faith; it is a measure of God’s faith in us. Would God throw away one of the Persons of the triune Godhead in a quixotic gesture? There’s nobody for God to try to impress, so what would be the point? We cannot imagine a meaningless act by God.
If God’s own Son's death is a sign of our Creator's love for us and faith in us, it is clear that we must reciprocate. It is a natural yearning in each of us to explore the mystery of God. The person of no faith, the atheist, acts against her own inner nature. We are each made with a built-in tendency towards God. When we suppress it, we kill something essential in ourselves. And by harming ourselves, we do injury to entire Creation because each of us is an integral part of God's order.
But faith without action is stagnant, even a contradiction. Faith must, by its very nature, be manifest. So faith is inborn and motivating, that which belief and at the same time gives me the impulse to show it by my acts based on Love, saturated in Hope.
In this issue, Ellen Rehg shares the reflections 'If some of the Catholic Workers on their faith, and Jim McGinnis responds to questions about faith and how it is being worked out in Nicaragua. Jean Lind, a hermit, reflects that ultimately it is God's faithfulness that sustains us in our struggles to believe, while Vince O'Flaherty examines various implications of faith (or the lack thereof) on the meaning we attach to our lives. Al Sprehe, like the Sojourners community, identifies the arms race as preeminently a matter of faith and invites us to some very specific acts of repentance and belief.
As always, there is news of the houses. Too, there is a photo essay of the Little
House, as well as some fine poetry--all calculated to help nourish the faith that is
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