Faith and Perseverance
It does not mean to deceive the intellect in order to be convinced of the truths of salvation. It is not an inner reaction intended to calm the soul over anything that is not perceptible to the senses. Nor does it intend to suppress or address the doubts that arise as to what rational intelligence does not easily accept. Faith is not an individual good that man reserves and to which others cannot participate. It is not a personal opinion. It is not an intellectual belief, as a result of analyzes, evaluations and comparisons. It is not the fruit of scientific experiments.
Faith is the adhesion of the mind to the truths it proposes. From the very beginning, the mind must accept these truths with all available forces of both thought and imagination, without opposing and giving up on each evaluation and comparison without resorting to unnecessary resistance. If the mind completely surrenders to the truths of God, which are then those proposed by faith, then the Holy Spirit reveals all spiritual knowledge to understand them.
What drives us to submit to and adhere to the truths of the faith is that they are inspired by God. No one outside of Him can reveal, reveal and explain them. Neither logic, nor philosophy, nor natural deduction, nor any discipline that has to do with the senses, can make them perceive, because they are not of this world.
Faith in God consists in accepting to know Him through what He himself has revealed to us through His words. God, knowing the inadequacy of the human mind and his inability to perceive divine truths, manifested itself to us and revealed all that concerns our relationship with Him so that if we accept those truths, He is who we welcome and it is in Him that we believe. Therefore, if we believe in him and observe his commandments, he will take on the filling of the inadequacies of our faith manifesting to us. Believe in his words and trust in his promises: so is faith in God.
Faith has three enemies: attachment to natural knowledge, fear and doubt. Attacking natural knowledge hinders the action of faith and prevents it from believing its effectiveness. In fact, we know that by nature, man cannot walk on water; move mountains, command wind and storm, or resuscitate the dead. Faith does not attribute any weight to the arguments and laws of nature, it can do all this and more. Likewise, in the man who clings to his natural knowledge and to their logical consequences, faith remains hindered. Natural knowledge generates fear and fear leaves no room for faith. It is clear that vipers and scorpions can harm them, and their vision raises fear, but faith allows them to see them as creatures blessed by God and find no reason to fear their sight. Science says poison is deadly, but faith does not recognize death in poison. So let's see how knowledge limits the effectiveness of faith and hinders the fulfillment of his works.
Fear: it proves attachment to self and self-pity, it is among the manifestations of the ego's love. That is why it turns against the faith, weakens it and deprives the man of its fruits. Faith is overcoming oneself, denial of self to love God and men. The true believer is the one who has entrusted his soul and body to God, no longer fears, has put all his trust in the true promises of God.
The doubt: we might think that doubt is less serious than fear, but the opposite is true. Fear is a form among the many of the inability of knowledge, while doubt is a sin that touches God directly. It means not believing his promises. It is the fear of fear. The doubt is the beginning of the weakening of trust in God, and the fear that follows is the total distance away from Him. The least doubt or the slight hesitation that can affect our prayers and our requests is enough to deprive us of the fruits of the Our efforts: "But ask in faith, without hesitation, for those who fail to resemble the wave of the sea are moved and shaken by the wind, and do not expect to receive something from the Lord, a man who has a swinging and unstable mind".
(Gc 1, 6-7).
Perseverance in prayer is one of the signs of an effective faith. If faith is the pillar of spiritual life, perseverance provides the stones needed to build the building. In order to perceive the importance of the spirit of perseverance in prayer, let us look at the feeling of despair. Despair is the result of a senseless pride and a hard cervix. Proof is that those who are abandoned to despair prefer to incur an eternal damnation by following their advice with pride and obstinacy rather than submitting to God, receiving from his hands the sweetness and bitterness of this life, Get the crown of eternal life. Thus, the spirit of perseverance appears as a sign of humility and abandonment. The persevering man in prayer and devotion believes he is not fit to anything by himself and his person has little value in his eyes. He persevere in submission and obedience because he could not do otherwise.
The spirit of perseverance originates in an intimate conviction: life is a unique path leading to the kingdom, and perseverance on the way is the only way to reach and overcome the difficulties. As for the rest on the street, whatever the reason, it shows the fall in the networks of the devil. That is, as long as you walk, light is with you and guides you, but if you stop, the darkness - your opponent - reaches you immediately. Going back on this journey is a sign of the defeat and failure of the soul, its relapse in mortal pride, and its consent to the loss. But the most amazing thing is that the rest of the one who travels the path of piety and prayer is doubling the pace and the effort!
The truths of faith are taught in accordance with the teaching of Scripture and delivered in the doctrines of the Church. These are reflected in theological expressions and definitions promulgated by councils that have confirmed the views of the best theologians. In this objective sense of faith, divine truth is accessible to mind and reason only with the intervention of grace. Faith, understood as the ability of the heart to react directly to the very reality of God, but always through the needs of the truths that it needs. In this personal sense of faith, man submits himself with all his heart, that is, with all his being, to God and, consequently, to all his commandments, for love and obedience, and not for an intellectual practice.
Objective faith needs intelligence, reasoning, studies, and conviction, so that man can gain some mastery of the truths of faith, which, however, can only become an adhesion through grace.
Personal faith needs love, obedience, and intimacy as essential foundations for man to come to a deep relationship with God based on faithfulness and total trust in him under all circumstances, though such fidelity and trust collide with reality, reasoning, or intellect.
What makes faith a virtue, not just a gift, is that it basically depends on man's will. Man can only accept faith if he wants to believe. However, for the faith, the will is not enough, a docile will is needed, so that the mind can open to truths that transcend the intellect. The docile will allows the intellect to open to welcome what is new to him, and the open and available intellect becomes a recipe capable of receiving together the flow of grace and divine truth together. The docile will is the essential element of faith that is a meritorious act. Faith is at the same time a gift and a virtue, or, in other words, an act of grace and human action. Man voluntarily responds to the earnest appeal of grace and grace is pleased to respond with generosity to man's efforts and initiatives.