To develop a person-to-Person relationship with God, we need at least the faith of a beginner’s willingness to reach out into the uncertain beyond. To find the truths of science, we must experiment; to find the truths of philosophy, we must interpret meanings; to find the truths of spiritual experience, we need faith. Faith has a receptive phase and an active phase. The receptive phase is that faith is a gift from God: God’s indwelling spirit enables our mind intuitively to recognize spiritual truth when it comes along; and truth itself is a gift. Faith is active in that it is up to us to embrace it and act on it. We act on faith as we enter the heart of what it means to live the truth: developing our spiritual experience and friendship with God and living as a member in the universal family, as we see in the life and teachings of Jesus.
The two phases of faith are intimately connected. I used to welcome the occasional vivid spiritual experience and wish that I could prolong it forever. It was like getting a brand-new, bright yellow, fuzzy, bouncy tennis ball. Now I regard spiritual experience as a part of an ongoing conversation, an interactive relationship, like the back and forth in tennis. It is my job to keep the ball in play. Looking at it this way, I began responding to the experience by making interpreting the experience in a way that enabled me to make some decision for the will of God; then I would look for an opportunity to put that decision into practice the same day. Active responses enable the ball to come back into one’s court more frequently. And the experience need not be dramatic; it may be subtle, like a whisper, or like a special quality of calm.
What experiences have given you a deeper faith in God? What things have you done to stretch your wings and truly exercise your faith?
manos1: lisafanucci: http://mrg.bz/cbnUCG