Working through the acronym (1) Faith
I suppose I may as well start by running through the topics in the order they are listed in the acronym. That means starting with Faith, which probably loses a fair number of readers right there!
As a personal and crucial element of our characters and personalities. Faith can be difficult to write about, never mind practice. We all have our different, individual connections with our God, assuming we have Faith, and detailing those connections or talking about those feelings can seem somehow wrong – a bit like the Pharisee boasting in the front row in the Synagogue.
Of course, the other imperative is to acknowledge that, in most faiths, the ‘spreading of the word’ is part and parcel of your belief. The trick is sharing your faith without imposing it on others, explaining it without patronising and accepting without believing it gives you an entitlement to some kind of superiority – moral or otherwise.
Anyway, for me, my faith isn’t so much a badge as part of who I am. On both sides of my family, Catholicism has been handed down from the mists of time in Ireland and tracing back to one of the original 40 Martyrs of England and Wales on the other. It shapes who I am and how I connect to the world and it’s part of the fabric of my personal and family history.
I’ve been inspired by individuals, not always Catholics or even Christians, who have lived their lives in keeping with the code of loving your neighbour as yourself, turning the other cheek and accepting the will of God in recognising we don’t always know what is best for us. Romero, Mandela, Trevor Huddleston, and less well known individuals have shown the strength of a loving approach to our world and its inhabitants.
Three quotes come to mind:
This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We’re prophets of a future not our own
Act justly, Love tenderly, Walk humbly.
The wind extinguishes the small fire but strengthens the big fire.