The lack of faith is one of the greatest tasks that the devil seeks to accomplish in individuals… A lack of faith at any degree…” –Fr. Wade Menezes [Homily 10/9/2015]
These words recently spoken by Fr. Wade led me to wonder… Just how lacking am I? To what degree of deficiency could I be suffering from? After all, with all the concern for vitamin & mineral deficiencies in our world of today — concern for the lack of sufficient nutrients needed for good health and life, and to fight against disease and that which robs us of being all we’re meant to be — could we be overlooking the most important deficiency of all?
DEFICIENCY : A lack or shortage of something essential; a condition characterized by the presence of less than the normal or necessary supply or competence; an insufficient quantity of some substance or activity of which the amount present is of normal quality. [medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary]
“We have to make an act of the will—which is what faith is. Faith does not rely on the passions, emotions, and feelings. Those are fleeting; those can go… Faith relies on an act of the will.” –Fr. Wade Menezes
Within his homily [October 9, 2015], Fr. Wade goes on to tell us [in noted excerpts provided below]:
“Pope St. Leo the Great says very eloquently that the Son of God took for Himself our human nature in order to reconcile it with its Creator, who made it. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very human nature by which he, the devil, had overthrown humanity by tempting and tricking our first parents.
“In other words, the devil tricked our first parents in their human nature, so God is going to remedy all that by coming into the world in that same human nature to redeem it and save it…
“This should tell us something, my friends, about the greatness of human nature…
“God not only created it, God assumed it Himself. He took it on…
“…The Church tells us very clearly that the history of humanity is marked by this great contest whereby evil spirits seek the destruction of the quality of human life and the perversion of the works of God. But God has acted decisively in the sending His Son, Jesus Christ in human nature and by His death, and resurrection in His human nature, has definitively broken the power of Satan over humanity in its human nature. …Wouldn’t that make a great bumper sticker?! =) …
“Though conquered, evil spirits continue to afflict human beings. There is a spiritual battle that continues and will continue until the end of time…
“His death on the Cross, once and for all, established the Kingdom of God as the source of freedom and salvation for all human beings who actively ask for it and seek it. Ah, there it is, we actually have to actively ask for it and seek it… We have to make an act of the will—which is what faith is. Faith does not rely on the passions, emotions, and feelings. Those are fleeting; those can go… Faith relies on an act of the will… I will to accept all that has been revealed…
“The devil wants to rob the human person of faith…
So we have to actively ask for it and seek it out….
‘Make me worthy to overcome the devil’ …
–A firm and convicted act of the will like that made by St. Maria Goretti.
“Now, what ultimately overcomes the devil?? –Jesus’ death on the Cross, and His Resurrection 3 days later showing that human nature has been restored and transfigured…
“So the wood of the tree of temptation, also known as the tree of good and evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden, in which the devil seemed to have triumphed over human nature and bring it down… The wood of the tree was conquered by the wood of the Cross that Jesus hung on. Wood for Wood!”
But Fr. Wade also warns us of how we can sometimes be the cause of our own crosses if we have no self knowledge for us to rise above the self affliction we could be doing to ourselves; for example, if we live with a lot of personal resentment towards other people… “You’re not on Christ’s Cross, you’re on your own cross” then.
“But the wood of the tree of temptation in the Book of Genesis was conquered by the wood of the Cross in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
“And what exactly did Jesus do on the Cross? …He did the following from the Cross…
12 THINGS JESUS CHRIST DID FOR US ON THE CROSS [From Fr. Wade Menenzes’ Homily]:
+ Jesus shed His blood to redeem us and wash away ours sins (Ephesians 1).
+ Jesus delivered us from a futile way of life (1Peter 1).
+ Jesus made it possible for us to become children of God (Galatians 6).
+ Jesus made it possible for us to share in the Divine nature (2Peter 1) – elevating human nature.
+ Jesus made the most pure act of unconditional love and poured out His infinite mercy (John 19).
+ Jesus humbled Himself and obeyed His Father (Philippians 2).
+ Jesus forgave us and taught us to forgive others (Luke 23).
+ Jesus drew all people to Himself (John 12).
+ Jesus gave us the opportunity to believe in Him as to have eternal life (John 3).
+ Jesus made peace through the blood of His Cross (Colossians 1).
+ Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit (John 19).
+ Jesus gave us His holy mother, Mary, to be our Mother (John 19); Mary, the perfect icon of faith and obedience of faith.
All this while on the cross!!
“My friends, during the few hours that Jesus hung on the Cross, He did more to transform the human race than has ever been or ever will be done in all of the hours of the history of the entire world.” –Fr. Wade Menezes
• If we recall the Passion of Christ, nothing seems so hard that it cannot be borne [steadfastly] with equanimity. –St. Gregory the Great.
• It is very good and holy to consider the passion of our Lord, and to meditate on it, for by this sacred path we reach union with God. –St. Paul of the Cross
Let us actively ask for it, and seek it — that we may not suffer from a deficiency…
That we may become all we’re meant to be in life. For Life!
Let us pray…
The Act of Faith