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(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2017

July 9, 2018
St, Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions

Dear Family of Mary

“…My children, you are given the freedom to choose, but, as a mother, I implore you to choose the freedom for the good…” (July 2, 2018)

The Cardinal Virtues help us to build habits of acting that lead to the good. They give us the means to choose the good in our everyday life. But there are other virtues that are necessary in this process, in fact they precede the Cardinal virtues. They are the basis of our relationship to God. They are the Theological Virtues, and are given to us by God, infused, to help us draw close to Him.

Here is what the Catechism says about the first Theological Virtue, Faith:

II. The Theological Virtues
1812 The human virtues are rooted in the theological virtues, which adapt man’s faculties for participation in the divine nature: (2 Pet: 1:4) for the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object.
1813 The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity 1 Cor 13:13)
Faith
1814 Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” For this reason, the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work(s) through charity.” (Rom 1:17)
1815 The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But “faith apart from works is dead”: (Jas 2:26) when it is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.
1816 The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it: “All however must be prepared to confess Christ before men and to follow him along the way of the Cross, amidst the persecutions which the Church never lacks.” Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 10:32-33)

Faith gives us the fundamental believe in God that commits us to all that the Lord has told us, all that the Church says to us, so that we can become united with God and one with Him. Faith is the portal through which we enter into the life of God. Our Lady gave a very powerful message about faith, which echoes this description in the Catechism.

March 25, 1997 “Dear children! Today, in a special way, I invite you to take the cross in the hands and to meditate on the wounds of Jesus. Ask of Jesus to heal your wounds, which you, dear children, during your life sustained because of your sins or the sins of your parents. Only in this way, dear children, you will understand that the world is in need of healing of faith in God the Creator. By Jesus’ passion and death on the cross, you will understand that only through prayer you, too, can become true apostles of faith; when, in simplicity and prayer, you live faith which is a gift. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Our Lady tells us to take the Cross and meditate on the wounds of Jesus. The Cross becomes a mirror in which we see our wounds, those interior wounds that we have received in our families, back through the generations. We see all the pain we have caused others and the pain they have inflicted on us, and we realize at last how much we need Jesus. We see how much we need to return to our Creator, who is the only one who can heal us. This is Faith!

Then once we see our wounds and our need for healing, we realize how much the whole world is reeling under the weight of sin, millions of wounded souls who need Faith. That is when we can become apostles of Faith, those who communicate with their lives that God is real and that He loves us. God can heal us and He wants very much to do so. This is then the victory of Faith!!

Yes, Faith is a gift! And it is a powerful virtue, because is connects us with our God who loves us. Through Faith we are healed. And when we witness about that Faith we become part of the healing of the world, even when we are persecuted. In simplicity and prayer may we become Apostles of Faith!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2018