I am not alone! At mass I meet Jesus. I come with all my needs and imperfections. I come with questions and doubts. And I am fed and nourished.
I enter sacred time and mysteries and in doing so I encounter the sacred presence of God. It doesn't matter how tired I am, or how confused or angry or excited or happy.
As I look around and see the different people, as I join in the prayers, as I sing the music, as I hear God's Word in the Bible, as I receive Jesus in Communion, more and more I know the connection between myself and all those who are gathered. Between myself and all those who came before me in faith. Between myself and God.
The Mass is sacred food for my life. I am not alone. God is always with me!
"What Faith Is and What It Isn't"
by Rev. Robert Barron
For Catholics, authentic faith never involves a sacrificium intellectus (a sacrifice of the intellect). God wants us to understand all we can about him through reason. By analyzing the order, beauty, and contingency of the world, there is an enormous amount of “information” we can gather concerning God: his existence, his perfection, the fact that he is endowed with intellect and will, his governance of the universe, etc.
Now one of the truths that reason can discover is that God is a person, and the central claim of the Bible is that this Person has not remained utterly hidden but has, indeed, spoken. As is the case with any listener to a person who speaks, the listener to the divine speech has to make a choice: do I believe him or not? The decision to accept in trust what God has spoken about himself is what the church means by “faith.” This decision is not irrational, for it rests upon and is conditioned by reason, but it presses beyond reason, for it represents the opening of one heart to another.
In the presence of another human being, you could remain stubbornly in an attitude of mistrust, choosing to accept as legitimate only those data that you can garner through rational analysis; but in so doing, you would close yourself to the incomparable riches that that person might disclose to you. The strict rationalist, the unwavering advocate of the scientific method, will know certain things about the world, but he will never come to know a person.
The same dynamic obtains in regard to God, the supreme Person. The Catholic Church wants people to use reason as vigorously and energetically as possible—and this very much includes scientific reason. But then it invites them, at the limits of their striving, to listen, to trust, to have faith.
Father Robert Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. He is the creator of a new ten episode documentary series called "Catholicism”. Learn more about the series at www.CatholicismSeries.com