Why is it better to believe without seeing?


#1

Jesus said about doubting Thomas that those who believe without seeing are more blessed.

Why is that?

It’s not obvious to me why that’s a good thing. Is there something virtuous about a characteristic that in other situations would be called “gullible”? Conspiracy theorists seem to believe without seeing too. Why is this a good thing?

I wonder if this would also apply to people who have not heard the gospel, but are more open to accepting another religion when it is presented to them. Is that somehow virtuous in God’s eyes?


#2

Scripture gives the following as one definition of faith:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Knowing something because we have seen it is not faith. Knowing and believing something God has revealed because God has revealed it (usually through Scripture or through the one Church He founded) is faith.

To have faith that God exists is, first and foremost, a gift from God. To believe what He has revealed to us and act upon it is our response of faith and is, in a sense, our gift back to God. By our response of faith, believing and acting “because God says so,” we honor the One who is Truth itself.

Sometimes it is easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that God has revealed something to us privately. One of the reasons God gave us a Church with teaching authority is to protect us from this kind of deception. If we think God has revealed something to us, but it contradicts the official teachings of the Church, we can know with certainty that the “revelation” is not from God.


#3

Hi Neil. This is just my humble opinion/understanding of Our Lord’s words…

But I think that it is very important to God… that we do have this sort of faith because of the merits it will gain for us… one day, in Heaven. And it seems to be the “condition” of the majority, that we are not granted to “see” with our physical eyes… those Mysteries of God… which the inhabitants of Heaven do enjoy.

Most of us, (at least in the western world) do not suffer in the same ways that people in poorer countries do. So… having faith in all that is “seen AND unseen” may be a way for us to gain merit in Heaven.

Did that make any sense? :shrug: lol.

Well, God bless… and Happy New Year!


#4

Thank you. That quote sounds like an optimist. So is part of being a person of faith, being an optimist, even about things not really to do with religion?

Knowing something because we have seen it is not faith. Knowing and believing something God has revealed because God has revealed it (usually through Scripture or through the one Church He founded) is faith.

To have faith that God exists is, first and foremost, a gift from God. To believe what He has revealed to us and act upon it is our response of faith and is, in a sense, our gift back to God. By our response of faith, believing and acting “because God says so,” we honor the One who is Truth itself.

Thank you.

Sometimes it is easy to deceive ourselves into thinking that God has revealed something to us privately. One of the reasons God gave us a Church with teaching authority is to protect us from this kind of deception. If we think God has revealed something to us, but it contradicts the official teachings of the Church, we can know with certainty that the “revelation” is not from God.


#5

Yes that makes sense, thank you. I wonder, when Jesus said we should be like little children, was He thinking of how children believe what they hear and don’t question it?


#6

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

We see from the Hebrews quote that faith and hope are closely related. If we believe in God, we also hope (trust) in Him. The virtue of hope is usually associated with spiritual goods:

Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ’s promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1817)

Christian hope, or “optimism” as you describe it, is hope for the ultimate good, which is eternal union with God. If we need material success to get there, God will provide it. If we need suffering in this world to purify us for life in the next, that is what God will provide.

So we believe that, even if bad things happen to us in this life, God will ultimately bring good out of them:

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)


#7

Well, I think you’re on the right track. I’m more inclined to think that Our Lord meant to emphasize how naturally trusting a child is. That isn’t necessarily the same thing… as being “easily led”.

We’ve all noticed how a small child, will usually… in the presence of strangers… cling to their mothers or fathers. They are naturally, making the right choice. It’s sort of instinctive to them.

I think that is how God wants us to be. Trusting in Him, like children. And we can, certainly trust and believe all that the Catholic Church teaches and in doing so, we’re trusting in Our dear Lord. And believing His promise…

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

Hope this helps. God bless.


#8

Yes, this has bothered me as well. God is all powerful, all knowing, eternal, creator of the universe. But in order for us to know Him, we are told that we have to just believe. Yet faith is (we are again told) a gift. Somehow this doesn’t seem fair.

I brought this up a while ago forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=251538&highlight=redhen

arguing that the angels (which supposedly have far superior powers than humans) know God though direct experience, no faith involved. Humans, with their diminished mortal capacities are just to supposed to trust in the unknown.

I never did get a satisfactory answer from that thread. :frowning:


#9

Yes, maybe it is better to believe without seeing. That might be the essense of being a student, to be taught docilely and to learn as much as you can possibly stomach by asking humble questions. If you were a Noble Prize of Physics winning college professor, what kind of student would you want? One who disbelieved everything you taught unless he proved it individually to you at all times? Or one who humbly mastered the material taught to the fullest potential possible on one’s own and then only humbly asked him questions when you had reached the utmost limits of your ability to understand? Many times in my faith I have had questions that seemed unanswerable and believed on my own then only later did I have the answers to these questions revealed to me. God is Far Greater than a Nobel Prize of Physics winning Professor for us to immediately distrust what he is saying. If I can’t understand God, should I dismiss him as false? I don’t dismiss the physics that I don’t understand as false even if I don’t immediately grasp the logic. :wink:

And maybe Catholicism is also based on merit. There is more merit in acting based on faith and love without seeing than with full knowledge! Maybe that’s why we had so many saints in the past, they had even less to go on then than we do now with the internet and amazon.com and everything!

Also, maybe is it better to believe any religion rather than Catholicism if that is what you are born with? Maybe yes too as long as you are always open to the truth which is Catholicism! If you were a devout Hindu priest (is that what they call it?) leading many followers and diligently researched whether or not Catholicism is true and found it to be so - your conversion would lead many peoply to Christ in addition to yourself and you would have intellectual knowledge on why Hinduism is to be preferred to Christianity! We have a Blessed who formerly served as a priest of one that Mary is at enmity with! We have a Scott Hahn who is leading protestants back to Catholicism, he took himself, his wife, and pastors of different denominations with him as he converted! We have a Jewish Rabbi named Eugenio (former Chief Rabbi of Rome) who converted when he learned of all the great things that Pope Pius XI did during the Holocaust for the Jews! jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef.html These devouts set a precedent for their fellow people to follow.

His Holiness Pope Urban VIII “In cases like this (apparitions), it is better to believe than not to believe, for, if you believe and it is not proven true, you will be happy that you have believed, because Our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe, and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true.”

Maybe there is more difference between a nominal Catholic and a devout Catholic than a devout Catholic and a devout Jew or Hindu, as long as each is utterly serious in their faith about believing the truth when it can be seen and giving other beliefs that have not yet been proven the benefit of doubt. Thus, we can believe things in other religions that do not seem to counteract with Christianity (dismissing them when and if we find they are) and we can adopt them. St. Francis of Assisi adopted parts of his prayer life from the Muslims when he saw them pray regularly several times a day. And we may also be able to use deep exploration of other religions as a means of conversion with friends. i.e. You explore my religion, I explore yours: lets see which one is the most worthy of belief and checks up with science!

Thank you for reading my stupid and unworthy thoughts! May Christ make up in your hearts any lack of explanation or truth or gentleness in this message! May the Holy Spirit through Mary grace us with the gifts that we desperately need! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be known, glorified, respected, adored, believed, and loved in all time, by all people, in all places!! May the WONDERS of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be venerated, known, and loved throughout creation, by all, at all times!! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#10

When my professors taught me calculus and physics I had recourse to other texts. They didn’t always have time to go into the details, but that’s when I could go into the library and read the source material from Newton, Maxwell, Faraday and others. I have no such recourse for God. I am told I just have to believe. That’s it, end of story.

And maybe Catholicism is also based on merit. There is more merit in acting based on faith and love without seeing than with full knowledge!

Merit? I thought faith was a gift? What about all the non-Catholic and non-Christian holy people and martyrs? All the compassion, sacrifice and righteousness apparently did not earn them the gift of faith.

Maybe that’s why we had so many saints in the past, they had even less to go on then than we do now with the internet and amazon.com and everything!

Hmm, that’s an interesting observation, though it didn’t come out the way you intended I think.


#11

Very possibly my questions are simpler than yours but imperfect saints who are aeons over me in wisdom, holiness, and union with Christ may deeply enrich me. :o I read in commentary for St. John of the Cross’s book that he said "what we ask for in prayer, we receive in (was it contemplation or meditation - I forget). e.g. - St. Louis Mary de Montfort - explains the Rosary and how to pray it with Devotion and why we shoud love it and struggle through it, the benefits of it, as well as the meaning of the Hail Mary and Our Father in:
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html, explaining the extreme benefits and logic of devotion to Mary, what perfect devotion consists of, and humility in:
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm
Preparation for 33 day consecration to the Blessed Virgin saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm , explaining subtle points about worldly wisdom, eternal wisdom, life of Christ and suffering in The Love of Eternal Wisdom ewtn.com/library/Montfort/lew.htm : St. Mary Faustina helps me understand spiritual direction and the path towards union with the will of God in
Diary of St. Mary Faustina:Divine Mercy in My Soul saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque helps me understand the passion, depth, ardour and love that Christ has for us and the why of devotion to the Eucharist in
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.: St. John of the Cross helps me understand spiritual imperfection in: **Dark Night of the Soul: ** ccel.org/ccel/john_cross/dark_night.html St. Teresa of Avila helps understand the Our Father and tips towards the **The Way of Perfection ** catholicfirst.com/TheFaith/CatholicClassics/StTeresa/way/wayofperfection.cfm: St.Therese of Liseux helps me understand avoidance of Purgatory in:
The Teaching of St. Therese of Liseux on Purgatory: catholic.com/library/Proving_Inspiration.asp The Cathechism of the Catholic Church helps me to understand the nature of faith and other things. vatican.va/archive/ccc/index.htm Papal Encyclicals and Apostolic letters have helped me understand the connection between faith and hope, the meaning of love conquers all, and given me insight on the role of women.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est_en.html

Perhaps this forum may have wise frequenters who can point out key aspects of the life of Christ, imitation of Christ, and knowledge/understanding of the will of God. My priest does so as well! :thumbsup: I perhaps believe wrongly but maybe when I ask a question in a sincere way to my priest, this form, or in prayer and try earnestly to find answers while consistently obeying the complete will of God to the best of my ability, I perhaps do receive in flashes of insight or words written by others - sometimes in the short term -within the next month - or in the very long term. :o Maybe you might elaborate on questions that you seek answers to and cannot understand. :confused: Maybe in a wise thread here on Franciscan Mysticism and Spirituality forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=263242 wiser souls than I may have answers to your questions or maybe they might answer in this thread or a new thread.

May the Holy Spirit through Mary bless us with the graces that we desperately need such as love, happiness, wisdom, humility, service, and kindness. May the LOVE and MERCY of Jesus be glorified, believed, known, respected, venerated, loved, and adored now and forever, by all, in all creation! May the WONDERS of Mary be venerated, believed, respected, loved now and always, in all creation, by all souls!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#12

In my stupid, ignorant, and correctable understanding, faith and the graces of God are both gift and merit. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.Matthew 13:12 And the parable of the talents - where those who had 5 and 2 talents who used them had their dominions multiplied as a result of their merit in using them while those who did not use and only had 1 talent had it taken away - as well as the saying “Faith without works is dead” might succintly convey my understanding of merit, but if I make no sense, maybe you might let me know and I will try to find another way to explain it. :o

Maybe I am wrong but ultimately I cannot know who secretly had acceptable faith to the Lord. Maybe Abraham, Rahab, and the city of Ninevah (despite all the warnings that Ninevah would perish) were saved by Christ, as I am, but might not have been Israelites or Christians or Catholics. Maybe the quote There is faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love. might mean that God might reward love in some way that I do not understand that might still be ultimately fair. Maybe the Catholic Church does not teach that only officially professing Catholics might be saved.

May the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary grace us with the gifts that we most desperately need! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be with us now and always, be venerated, adored, glorified, loved, believed, known, and understood now and forever, by all souls, for all time! May the WONDERS of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be loved, venerated, believed, known, understood, respected, and considered with grateful hearts forever, by all souls, in all of creation!! AMEN!! AMEN!! AMEN!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#13

There’s no need to put yourself down, or beat yourself up. I can understand, psychologically, how people, under stress, can take a leap of faith. But I still don’t understand why faith in the** invisible is of the utmost **importance for an omnipotent, omniscient, creator of the universe.

To me, this sounds like a snake oil scam perpetrated by men.


#14

Maybe it has to do with the idea of Merit again. I was wondering today - why did God let the serpent tempt Adam and Eve. Why didn’t he prevent them from eating from the Tree of Good and Evil? Perhaps, because he wanted to give them full knowledge of Good but before he did, he wanted them to have a reason to deserve it so he allowed temptation. When they did not pass the test, he granted their request anyways - in this world, we as a race are gaining in intelligence to be like God from our cave-man ancestors over the centuries, if Christ is God, we are very much like God in fact, but it hasn’t come without knowledge of good - i.e. Christ, Mary, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, or Rev. Martin Luther King and evil - slavery, genocide, colonialism. Most of the Catholic theology that I have read on suffering either explains suffering by appealing to the idea of an opportunity to gain merit or by appealing to the idea of God choosing suffering to build his kingdom or by the idea of purifying us so we can be united to the Divine Will.

If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one’s work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer a loss; the person will be saved but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

Maybe it is important because God loves us and wants to bless us eternally but he gave us free will because he wants to give to us to the extent that we choose to use our free will to unite with the will of God. Perhaps creation is simply a work to glorify God; just as King builds up his empire to glory himself; however, this King has chosen to use people to build up his empire - and he more greatly uses them when they submit to his will - i.e. Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, or Reverend Martin Luther King. Perhaps merit even extends to why Jesus was born man instead of woman, since Eve ate the apple and gave it to Adam.

Perhaps reading about the Marian apparitions will help give faith in the existence of God.

May the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary grace us with the gifts that we most desperately need, particularly wisdom! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be known, glorified, adored, venerated, respected, believed, and loved for all time, by all souls, in all creation! May the WONDERS of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be believed, loved, known, respected, hoped in, and venerated now and always, by all, in all places! AMEN!! AMEN!! AMEN!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#15

In Kibeho, Rwanda prior to the genocide, the Mother of the Word appeared. She said a “river of blood” would happen if people did not convert, repent,pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows, and stop committing various moral sins, such as the girls sleeping with certain men. Did a river of blood happen? This New York Times Article on the Rwandan genocide documents the apparitions of Mary prior to the genocide. query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400E4D81738F93BA35757C0A96F958260

Then we look at Fatima, Portugal. See some of the messages from Mary to the three little children: The war [World War I was still raging] is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI… When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light [on January 25-26, 1938 from 9PM to 2AM there appeared over the Northern Hemisphere a very unusual light that scared many people. The New York Times devoted almost an entire page to the event. Scientists attributed it to an exceptional aurora borealis] “know that this is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its many crimes by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father” [Within two months of the sign, in March of 1938, Hitler invaded his first country, Austria.] loveandmercy.org/loveandmercy/fatima.htm

New York Times article: January 26, 1938
Aurura Borealis Startles Europe; People Flee in Fear, Call Firemen; Britons Thought Windsor Castle Ablaze–Scots See Ill Omen-Snow-Clad Swiss Alps Glow–Short-Wave Radio Halts The most brilliant display of an aurora borealis in fifty years held Britons spellbound over a wide area of this country tonight. From 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. the people of London watched two magnificent arcs rising in the east and west, from which radiated pulsating beams like searchlights in dark red, greenish blue and purple. [End of First Paragraph] Buy This Article, Single Article $3.95 select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00817FB355A157A93C4AB178AD85F4C8385F9

Other articles
Los Angeles Times, Jan 26, 1938 Aurora Borealis Upsets Europeans pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/743927742.html?dids=743927742:743927742&FMT=CITE&FMTS=CITE:AI&date=Jan+26%2C+1938&author=&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=Aurora+Borealis+Upsets+Europeans&pqatl=google

Chicago Daily Tribune, Jan 26, 1938Aurora Borealis Glows in Widest Area Since 1709Abstract (Document Summary) Radio and telegraphic communication was disrupted and persons in many parts of the world were awed tonight as the aurora borealis [northern lights] flamed brilliantly farther south than the phenomenon ever has been seen by this generation.
pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/441756312.html?dids=441756312:441756312&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Jan+26%2C+1938&author=&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune&desc=AURORA+BOREALIS+GLOWS+IN+WIDEST+AREA+SINCE+1709&pqatl=google

Now, here’s another apparition: should we dismiss it or pay attention to it though it hasn’t been verified by the Church? The Rwanda apparitions weren’t verified until 2001, long after the genocide had passed. ourlovingmother.org/ Jesus and Mary specifically mention abortion and gay marriage. Maybe they mention other things, I don’t know. We don’t have to listen. Do we want to take the chance that these Georgia apparitions will have to take place and the world be punished before we figure out that we should listen? when I read these messages or hear quotes by Mother Teresa by others (haven’t verified for myself the truth though), it sounds like the punishment might be nuclear war and Mother Teresa is quoted by some as saying “The fruit of abortion is nuclear War.” ourlovingmother.org/

May the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary grace us with the gifts that we most desperately need! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, loved, venerated, known, believed, glorified, and respected now and always, in all time, by all souls! May the WONDERS of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be loved, believed, known, respected, and venerated forever and ever, by all, in all creation! AMEN!! AMEN!! AMEN!!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#16

While these Marian apparitions certainly are fascinating, this does not answer the original question; why is faith so important to God?

In this regard, these types of apparitions, locutions, theophanies etc can be seen as crutches, since faith in the invisible is of the utmost importance.

Also, keep in mind that there were bystanders (even at Fatima) who did not see anything unusual and did not come to belief.


#17

Because to believe without seeing and knowing is to manifest strongly the theological virtues of faith and hope.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B


#18

Maybe the post on Merit was more hoped to defining the importance of faith in God’s eyes according to my perhaps theologically incorrect understanding and the post on apparitions is more hoped to give logical and scientific reasons for belief and consequences of unbelief, which in these cases were genocides that may prefigure hell It might be very important I think because one of the major beliefs that Reverend Martin Luther King held was that “justice will flow down like a river.”

I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, (Yes, sir) however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, (No sir) because “truth crushed to earth will rise again.” (Yes, sir)
How long? Not long, (All right. How long) because “you shall reap what you sow.” (Yes, sir)
Yet that scaffold sways the future, (Yes, sir)

And, behind the dim unknown,

Standeth God within the shadow,

Keeping watch above his own.

How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (Yes, sir)

How long? Not long, (Not long) because:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; (Yes, sir)

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; (Yes)

He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; (Yes, sir)

His truth is marching on. (Yes, sir)

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; (Speak sir)

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat. (That’s right)

O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet!

Our God is marching on. (Yeah)

Glory, hallelujah! (Yes, sir) Glory, hallelujah! (All right)

Glory, hallelujah! Glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on. [Applause]

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored: (Yes, sir)

His whole speech is here Our God is Marching On: stanford.edu/group/King/publications/speeches/Our_God_is_marching_on.html Why would we believe this if we didn’t have faith and hope in an ultimately loving God? Why not just be hopeless and forget about the evil in the world if we do not have faith in an invisible power strengthening us and supporting our actions invisbly so we know we will ultimately prevail if we are on his side no matter if we are crucified and martyred as prevailed Christ?

May the Holy Spirit through the Immaculate Heart of Mary grace us with the gifts that we most desperately need! May the LOVE and MERCY of the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, proclaimed, glorified, respected, and venerated now and always, by all souls, in all of time, by all of creation!! May the WONDERS of the Immaculate Heart of Mary be venerated, proclaimed, respected, loved, believed, and known for all of time, in all places, by all souls! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#19

Originally Posted by Neil_Anthony View Post
Jesus said about doubting Thomas that those who believe without seeing are more blessed. Why is that?

With all respect, this looks like circular reasoning. “Why is faith important?” “Because believing without seeing (faith) is to manifest faith.”

see what I mean? It still begs the question; why is belief without seeing so vital to an omnipotent, omniscient, creator of the universe, the most powerful thing in the cosmos who could change any part of His creation immediately, impart supernatural knowledge of His existence to humans (like He did with angels supposedly).Yet the most important thing He demands of humans is to believe in His existence merely by hoping He exists.

This really sounds like a P.T. Barnum scheme.


#20

There would no challenge, no trial in the face of Evil, no fight for the greater good, no test of character, no real need for our Free Will. There would have been no need for Christ’s sacrifice. You’re referring to unmeritted salvation.


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