H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III
St. Paul the
Apostle says, "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Prove
yourselves. " ( 2Cor.13 :5).
The faith here is not that of the mind or just the name; it is the real faith, a life-style that one lives in God and shows in all his deeds and all his feelings.
The life of faith means complete submission to God an extreme trust in His work within you and within the Church.
Faith cuts a road in the sea and lets water flow from th rock. It is enough to see that the Bible says, "With God all things are possible. " (Matt. 19:26). Do you have the practical faith by which you can do everything in Christ? Or is your faith weak and cannot stand tribulations?
If it is so, what should you do? The Lord says, "According to your faith, let it be to you. " (Matt.9 :29). The only solution is to pour yourself before God and openly say to Him: Lord I believe, but my faith has not reached the practical level yet. My faith is like the bruised reed that You, due to Your love, wouldn't break; and like the smoking flax that, due to Your compassion, You would not quench. Accept me, O Lord, with my weaknesses.
Grant me this faith, a gift from You. Do not say, "I will give you according to your faith" and do not make faith a condition for the gift. Let faith be the gift itself.
Grant me to believe in You, submit my life to You and trust in Your dispensation. It is sufficient for me to believe that You will grant me faith. Isn't it also "a gift from above," from You, and nobody can believe without Your grace?
You say, "Only believe". Even this faith I want from You so I would not think that my humanity has done anything without You...
I am still waiting for this faith by which I could do everything through Your grace.
I believe that You'll give me, and I wish, after being in Your presence, to say, "I believe that You have given me."
My faith will then change from a desire and a request to a reality and a life.
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