What is Faith? We see it, in perfection, in Blessed Virgin Mary

Based on A segment from Episode-4 of “Meditations for Saints in the Making.

Faith is more than just belief. We see that demonstrated when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to conceive and bear the son of God. And this son of God would also be the messiah foretold in the Old Testament, which Mary would’ve known very well. 

Imagine a 15-year old girl being being asked to be a mother, and to be mother to the Son of God, and to be mother to the messiah. This effectively is three separate annunciations, one more earthshaking than the other. How does one raise the messiah? How should a human mother raise or care for the Son of God? How will she explain being pregnant to her new husband?

The answer is, I have no idea. And neither did this young Jewish girl from Nazareth. And that is where her solid faith came into play. But what is “Faith” if it’s not merely belief? I explain here in the audio from that segment of the episode. The transcript is below the audio. The segment begins after having pointed out that, after the annunciation, and after Mary’s “Fiat!” (“So be it!”) the angel departs from her.


00:00 – Catholic Adventurer (Host)
Then the angel departed from her and that’s that. No instructions, no further instructions, nothing. The Holy Virgin is left with nothing but her complete and total trust in God, her complete and perfect faith in God, which she loves so so much. Faith is a hard thing. Faith is not merely belief. That’s kind of easy. There are two kinds of belief in a divine. One is a natural belief or a reasoned belief, and one is I’m calling it a supernatural faith or a supernatural belief. The difference there is when you have a tree, you only need reasoned faith to know that it came from a seed, because you know how these things work If you have five somethings. If you have five somethings, it’s a reasoned faith that allows you to know that there used to be one something and then there was another and another and so on, until you reached five, five steps. Well, at one point there was just one step before the other four were put in there. That’s reasoned faith. It only takes reasoned faith to believe that there is a God. That tree came from a seed. Seed was in the ground. The ground is part of the earth. The earth came from the this that came from that. Eventually you have to get to something that always existed. The ancient philosophers all believe this. It only takes reasoned faith to believe in a God. Now, who is that God? What is his nature and character? That’s another thing, that’s another set of beliefs. For those sorts of beliefs, for that kind of knowledge or faith that requires grace, supernatural faith, that’s what that needs. Right, there’s reason involved in it, but it is a supernatural faith. It requires grace, right? One cannot profess the name of Jesus without the grace of the Holy Spirit. That’s in the scripture.

Now we’ve established that there’s natural faith or rational faith, and then supernatural faith. But now what is that faith? It’s not just belief in God, because once you get to supernatural faith, it’s easier I shy away from the word easy in this one but it’s easier for the mind to say I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. Everything we say in the creed is expressions of supernatural faith. But it’s much harder to say I trust in God. Belief plus trust equals faith. Belief plus trust equals faith. It’s easy to believe in God, the Father Almighty, and so on. It is harder to say I believe, and as surely as I believe, I confidently trust. That’s a stepping stone for a lot of people. I find for some people it is not so difficult, which amazes me, but oftentimes for many people that’s difficult. The belief part is easy, but the faith or the trust part is harder.

Can you imagine the depth and the power of the faith of the Blessed Virgin Mary? That, of course, she believed in God, supernatural faith, fine. But then to say so, be it, be it done to me according to thy word. And then the angel departs and that’s that. She’s left, completely, of course, entrusted to Joseph, but then, completely, she’s left with her faith and trust in God. No instruction manual, no angel to stick around with her as she raises Jesus, some angel pretending to be a person, a servant, whatever? Nope, just her and Joseph. Wow, please, god, help us to have faith like that, not just our belief, but our trust in you.

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