Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Faith, Tradition
Volume 7 No. 438 September 22, 2017
III. Featured Articles on Faith

The Creed: A Spiritual Treasure

by Marlon De La Torre

In his masterpiece, 'An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine', Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman at the age of fifteen describes his initial conversion toward the teachings of the Catholic Church where he, "Fell under the influences of a definite creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, though God's mercy, have never been effaced or obscured" (pg. 16).

What parent wouldn't want their fifteen year old to suddenly realize the importance of the Creed of Christ in their daily lives? Or better yet, to find that they actually believe in the Creed. Human beings are constantly seeking something to put their faith in as long as it's easy to believe and follow.

Hence when presenting the scenario of a teenager believing in "The Creed", i.e. the Apostles Creed and its tenets, we are left wondering in a cynical way whether this is actually possible. However, Divine Revelation clearly tells us that this is possible (Rom 10:9; Mat 28:17-20). Blessed Newman's encounter with "the definite creed" found in the Catholic Church echoes the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The image of the Corpus more than any other image reveals the saving realities of Christ and His Church expressed through the Creed (Jn 3:16-17; 1 Cor 11:23-33).

What do we mean by Creed?

In Latin the word Creed means: "I believe." "I believe" serves as the genesis to our Profession of Faith in Christ and His Church. It provides Christ's faithful with a synthesis of the chief truths of the faith handed down by Christ (Mt 16:16-19; Luke 24) for all to believe freely. A clear and distinct sign of the Creed is found in the Apostolic Age of the Church (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 15:3-5). It is no coincidence that upon our Lord's Ascension, the Holy Spirit descended upon Mary and the Apostles to assure the continuation of the Church of Christ on earth and to firmly set a common language, i.e. the Creed, for all to know, understand, and follow.

The Sufficiency of the Apostles Creed

When you take the time to reflect and pray the Apostle's Creed, you are left with an acute, yet profound exposition of the Catholic faith that is both enlightening and simple. When you take the first stanza of the Apostles Creed ending with: " . . . who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit . . ." you receive the initial exposition of the faith found in the sign of the Cross which in turn reflects our Baptismal call in the name of the Blessed Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Thus the Sign of the Cross serves as the preeminent symbol of our faith. In the Cross we have a symbol of faith that becomes our spiritual birth mark identifying exactly who we are. We take on the characteristic of Christ through the Profession of Faith.

The Creed Abandoned

Imagine if you were trying to construct a car from scratch and during the process you forgot a very important component needed for the car to work, motor oil. Your friend points this out to you and asks the obvious question: do you know what you are doing? You dismiss your friend's question because you are convinced the car will work without the use of motor oil and basically imply you know exactly what you are doing. Of course, just as the car cannot function without motor oil, so too do our own faith lives suffer when we ignore or omit the Creed.

This simple analogy reveals the depths people will go to reconstruct what God has revealed through His Son Jesus Christ and replace it with their own perceived enlightened thought. In other words, we will stop at nothing to develop our own "rule of faith" detached from God that we convince ourselves is indeed the only truth, i.e. Creed, that we will live by. In doing so, we abandon the Creed. Some blunt examples of forsaking the Creed are as follows:

1.Contraception should be a right for all.
2.The Ten Commandments don't really apply to me.
3.Abortion is a right for all women.
4.Gay marriage i.e. same-sex unions is a civil right.
5.The Catholic Church is out of touch with the needs of the people.
6.There are too many rules on sex in the Catholic Church.
7.The notion of Sin is really subjective. It depends on what the person views sin to be.
8.Practicing the faith is a private affair; it doesn't belong in the public square.
9.What's wrong with cohabitation?
10.The Eucharist is really symbolic in nature; it's not really what the Church says it is.

Though this list is not exhaustive you get the point. The moment we abandon our Catholic Identity, i.e. the Creed of faith, we develop our own Creed to suit our needs apart from Christ and His Church. In many ways, this is exactly what is happening at this very moment with the calculated attack on our religious freedom and the attempt to redefine what the Church believes and professes. What better way to initiate mass doctrinal confusion than by creating a new set of doctrinal norms and Creedal statements; especially by those who purport to represent Christ and His Church when in reality they have willfully abandoned what the Church through Christ has taught for over two-thousand years.

St. Ambrose, the great "golden tongue" responsible for the conversion of St. Augustine, summarizes the importance of the Creed this way:

The Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart's meditation and an ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.

The Apostles Creed
A prayer of Faith in the teaching of Jesus and His Church.

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day, He rose again.
He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Source: Catholic Lane

Nicene Creed - History
"As approved in amplified form at the Council of Constantinople (381), it is the profession of the Christian Faith common to the Catholic Church, to all the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, and to most of the Protestant denominations.

Soon after the Council of Nicaea new formulas of faith were composed, most of them variations of the Nicene Symbol, to meet new phases of Arianism. There were at least four before the Council of Sardica in 341, and in that council a new form was presented and inserted in the Acts, though not accepted by the council. The Nicene Symbol, however, continued to be the only one in use among the defenders of the Faith. Gradually it came to be recognized as the proper profession of faith for candidates for baptism.

Its alteration into the Nicene-Constantinopolitan formula, the one now in use, is usually ascribed to the Council of Constantinople, since the Council of Chalcedon (451), which designated this symbol as "The Creed of the Council of Constantinople of 381" had it twice read and inserted in its Acts.

The historians Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret do not mention this, although they do record that the bishops who remained at the council after the departure of the Macedonians confirmed the Nicene faith. Hefele (II, 9) admits the possibility of our present creed being a condensation of the "Tome" (Greek tomos), i.e. the exposition of the doctrines concerning the Trinity made by the Council of Constantinople; but he prefers the opinion of Rémi Ceillier and Tillemont tracing the new formula to the "Ancoratus" of Epiphanius written in 374.

Hort, Caspari, Harnack, and others are of the opinion that the Constantinopolitan form did not originate at the Council of Constantinople, because it is not in the Acts of the council of 381, but was inserted there at a later date; because Gregory Nazianzen who was at the council mentions only the Nicene formula adverting to its incompleteness about the Holy Ghost, showing that he did not know of the Constantinopolitan form which supplies this deficiency; and because the Latin Fathers apparently know nothing of it before the middle of the fifth century.

The following is a literal translation of the Greek text of the Constantinopolitan form, the brackets indicating the words altered or added in the Western liturgical form in present use:

We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And was incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man; was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried; and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. And (I believe) in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son), who together with the Father and the Son is to be adored and glorified,
who spoke by the Prophets.

And one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We confess (I confess) one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for (I look for) the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen."

In this form the Nicene article concerning the Holy Ghost is enlarged; several words, notably the two clauses "of the substance of the Father" and "God of God," are omitted as also are the anathemas; ten clauses are added; and in five places the words are differently located. In general the two forms contain what is common to all the baptismal formulas in the early Church.

Vossius (1577-1649) was the first to detect the similarity between the creed set forth in the "Ancoratus" and the baptismal formula of the Church at Jerusalem. Hort (1876) held that the symbol is a revision of the Jerusalem formula, in which the most important Nicene statements concerning the Holy Ghost have been inserted. The author of the revision may have been St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386).

Various hypotheses are offered to account for the tradition that the Niceno-Constantinopolitan symbol originated with the Council of Constantinople, but none of them is satisfactory.

Whatever be its origin, the fact is that the Council of Chalcedon (451) attributed it to the Council of Constantinople, and if it was not actually composed in that council, it was adopted and authorized by the Fathers assembled as a true expression of the Faith. The history of the creed is completed in the article Filioque.

Source: Catholic Encyclopaedia  

What I Believe

by Ann Voskamp

I believe in the The Nicene Creed.

I believe in Jehovah God who created the whirling galaxies, the birds soaring in the sky overhead, the endless crashing waves and all that dances within them. I believe in Father of all who knits together life, made in His very own image, in the secret quiet of our beings.

I believe in Jesus Christ, the One with no earthly Father, with the dust of this earth between His toes, and with our names etched onto the palm of His hands, right beneath the nail scars…Who now sits at the Father’s right hand making endless intercession on our behalf. I believe in the stone rolled away, in the Body being raised, in the first fruits of the dead…and us all following soon, very soon.

I believe in the Cross as our only Hope, our only Claim, and our only Foundation. I believe that in the pounding surf of life we have only one thing to cling to: the feet of our Lord, hanging on that tree, His lifeblood flowing down, washing us whiter than snow.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, moving, whispering, indwelling our very skin. I believe in living by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, and producing fruit in the Spirit…in the Spirit who helps us in our weakness with groanings that can’t be expressed in words.

I believe in the infallibility of the Bible, God’s Word – a sure Word, a pure Word, the only secure Word. I believe the words on those pages are breathed from the very throne room of heaven, are the love letter penned from the heart of the Lover of our souls; a beacon of light for stumbling feet to find sure footing on a dark path.

I believe there is more than believing. There is living what I believe.

God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, "Do you believe there is a God?" you may find yourself answering, "No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God."
-- Ernest Boyer, Jr.

The Bedrock of Faith

by Brett Blair and Staff

Gospel: Mark 13:1-8

Have you ever tried to make a prediction? Here are some predictions from the past. All from people who were trusted individuals:

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

Popular Mechanics magazine in 1949 made this prediction: "Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons."

There was an inventor by the name of Lee DeForest. He claimed that "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility."

The Decca Recording Co. made a big mistake when they made this prediction: "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." That was their prediction in 1962 concerning a few lads form Liverpool. Their band was called the Beatles.

As the disciples walked out of the Temple in Jerusalem Jesus paused, looked back at the Temple and predicted, "Do you see all these great buildings. Not one stone will be left on another." To the disciples this was bedrock. Nothing could bring down these walls. "Look, teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" they said to Jesus.

The smallest stones in the structure weighed 2 to 3 tons. Many of them weighed 50 tons. The largest existing stone, part of the Wailing Wall, is 12 meters in length and 3 meters high, and it weighs hundreds of tons! The stones were so immense that neither mortar nor any other binding material was used between the stones. Their stability was attained by the great weight of the stones. The walls towered over Jerusalem, over 400 feet in one area. Inside the four walls was 45 acres of bedrock mountain shaved flat and during Jesus' day a quarter of a million people could fit comfortably within the structure. No sports structure in America today comes close.

You can then understand the disciples' surprise. As they walked down the Kidron Valley and up Mount Olive Peter, James, and John wanted to hear more. Jesus' prediction that a structure so immense would be leveled to the ground seemed implausible. But they pressed Jesus for more information. They wanted to know when. What would be the sign that this was about to take place? In their voice was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that their lives were about to change forever. Jesus had not made any predictions like this one. This was different. This, they could understand.

Forty years later the prediction came true. In 70 AD the Temple was destroyed by Rome. What are we to learn from this prediction and its fulfillment? We learn what true real bedrock faith is all about. The kind of faith you can stand on, build on.


First of all, bedrock of faith is not in Temples. Try to place yourself in first century Jerusalem. From anywhere in the city you can look up and catch a glimpse of the Temple. The 45-year project of King Herod was the third such Temple. It had been the center of their national life for a thousand years. In the Temple the Jews sacrificed. Confessed their Sins. Gave their first fruits of the harvest. Yearly sacrificed a lamb for the nations' sins. It was here that Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement, Feasts of Tabernacles, and Feast of Weeks was celebrated.

With the Temple so central to their life and worship this major question then arises: How would they worship God without the Temple? It was a question for which the Disciples had no answer. We understandably get tied to things. We can even develop sentimental attachments to them. But the Temple was unique. God himself is said in Deuteronomy to be the architect giving the exact dimension of the Altar, the grounds, the Walls, the doors, down to the very size of the stones. This was God's building.

Did you know that the Christians continued to make sacrifices at the temple after Jesus death? Paul even makes an offering (Acts 21). It is the place where John's birth was announced, Jesus' preeminence was recognized by Simeon and Anna, Jesus' religious intelligence was recognized by the leaders at age 12, and where the money changers were driven out years later. It was here that Paul was arrested.

With the Temple so central to life how would they worship God without it? I like the story told about Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) in his later years. On a special evening at the Vienna Music Hall his oratorio "The Creation" was being performed. As the majestic work moved along, the audience was caught up with tremendous emotion. When the passage "And there was light!" was reached, the chorus and orchestra burst forth in such power that the crowd could no longer restrain its enthusiasm.

The vast assembly rose spontaneous applause in the middle of the peace. Haydn weakened by age and confined to a wheelchair struggled to stand and motioned for silence. With his hand pointed toward heaven, he said, "No, no, not from me, but from thence comes all!" Having given the glory and praise to the Creator, he fell back into his chair exhausted.

Perhaps that is the lesson Jesus would have the disciples learn. Haydn directed the crowds attention away from his talents to God's, away from the beautiful music to a majestic God. Whether a great oratorio or a Temple devoted to God, neither deserves our devotion, only the One from thence comes all!


First of all bedrock faith is not found in Temples, places of worship. And secondly, bedrock faith is not found in signs. Tell us, the disciples insisted, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they all are about to be fulfilled?

A preacher was recently talking for an hour about his new book that supposedly explained everything we needed to know about the coming of Jesus and the end of time. "You must have this book," he said over and over again, a telephone number (not even toll-free) constantly flashing at the bottom of the TV screen. Seems that he had prophetic insight into world events, and for a mere $14.95 we could have the benefit of his wisdom. It was inferred that we would not survive the coming terrors unless we had t his book. A certain pastor called the number and suggested to the poor operator that if this preacher really thought this was so vital to the survival of the planet, and that the end was so near, he would be giving the book away! I mean; he won't need the money, right? It's all coming to an end anyway. Who needs a bank account? True, it costs money to print, but he will not have to pay for it if it goes as he says. The woman on the other end of the line was not amused. "Sorry, sir," she said, "but I don't know much about theology," to which the pastor responded, "Neither does the writer of the book you're selling."

It is the greatest of all biblical mysteries. 23 of the 27 New Testament books claim that Christ will one day return but we have no indication of when or what will usher it in. The problem with predicting the Second Coming is that most predictions center on world events. Let me let you in on a little secret. World events are not indicators of End Times. Wars, earthquakes, international political instability, famine, persecution…these, says Jesus, are not a sign of the end they are simply facts of life from the beginning. Verse 7 reads: Do not be alarmed these things must happen; the end is still to come.

Listen to me…I can't tell you when but I can tell you why--to redeem this planet and you and me with it. My friend, if you don't live with the expectation that he will one day return you've missed one of the bedrock teachings of Jesus' life. It ought to be part of your life. It will make you watchful, cautious, and prepared.


The bedrock of faith is not in Temples or Signs. The bedrock of faith is in Christ. Several years ago, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks did a comedy skit called the "2013 Year Old Man". In the skit, Reiner is a TV interviewer and Brooks is the old Jewish gentleman. At one point, Reiner asks the old man, "Did you always believe in the Lord?"

Brooks replied: "No. We had a guy in our village named Phil, and for a time we worshiped him."

Reiner: You worshiped a guy named Phil? Why?

Brooks: Because he was big, and mean, and he could break you in two with his bare hands!

Reiner: Did you have prayers?

Brooks: Yes, would you like to hear one? O Phil, please don't be mean, and hurt us, or break us in two with your bare hands.

Reiner: So when did you start worshiping the Lord?

Brooks: Well, one day a big thunderstorm came up, and a lightning bolt hit Phil. We gathered around and saw that he was dead. Then we said to one another, "There's somthin' bigger than Phil!"

The disciples are told in verse 5: "Watch out, that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name claiming, "I am he,' and will deceive many." My friends there are a lot of false messiahs out there claiming to have the answers, deranged people trying to be world leaders. They manipulate and lie, recruiting people to kill in God's name. They go by many labels. We call them terrorist. But I am here to tell you there's something bigger than Phil.

History will sweep these people under the rug. And there will be others. But one day Phil is going to get his. Christ will return. And we all will stand, not in the bedrock of a Temple made with human hands which is here today and gone tomorrow. No! We will take our stand with Christ, the bedrock of our faith. Amen.


by Frederick Buechner

Scripture: Hebrews 11

When God told Abraham, who was a hundred at the time, that at the age of ninety his wife, Sarah, was finally going to have a baby, Abraham came close to knocking himself out—"fell on his face and laughed," as Genesis puts it (17:17). In another version of the story (18:8ff.), Sarah is hiding behind the door eavesdropping, and here it's Sarah herself who nearly splits a gut—although when God asks her about it afterward, she denies it. "No, but you did laugh," God says, thus having the last word as well as the first. God doesn't seem to hold their outbursts against them, however. On the contrary, God tells them the baby's going to be a boy and they are to name him Isaac. Isaac in Hebrew means "laughter."

Why did the two old crocks laugh? They laughed because they knew only a fool would believe that a woman with one foot in the grave was soon going to have her other foot in the maternity ward. They laughed because God expected them to believe it anyway. They laughed because God seemed to believe it. They laughed because they half believed it themselves. They laughed because laughing felt better than crying. They laughed because if by some crazy chance it just happened to come true, they would really have something to laugh about, and in the meanwhile it helped keep them going.

Faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," says the Letter to the Hebrews (11:1). Faith is laughter at the promise of a child called Laughter.

Faith is better understood as a verb than as a noun, as a process than as a possession. It is on-again-off-again rather than once-and-for-all. Faith is not being sure where you're going, but going anyway. A journey without maps. Paul Tillich said that doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.

I have faith that my friend is my friend. It is possible that all his motives are ulterior. It is possible that what he is secretly drawn to is not me, but my wife or my money. But there's something about the way I feel when he's around, about the way he looks me in the eye, about the way we can talk to each other without pretense and be silent together without embarrassment, that makes me willing to put my life in his hands, as I do each time I call him friend.

I can't prove the friendship of my friend. When I experience it, I don't need to prove it. When I don't experience it, no proof will do. If I tried to put his friendship to the test somehow, the test itself would queer the friendship I was testing. So it is with the Godness of God.

The five so-called proofs for the existence of God will never prove to unfaith that God exists. They are merely five ways of describing the existence of the God you have faith in already.

Almost nothing that makes any real difference can be proved. I can prove the law of gravity by dropping a shoe out the window. I can prove that the world is round if I'm clever at that sort of thing—that the radio works, that light travels faster than sound. I cannot prove that life is better than death or love better than hate. I cannot prove the greatness of the great or the beauty of the beautiful. I cannot even prove my own free will; maybe my most heroic act, my truest love, my deepest thought are all just subtler versions of what happens when the doctor taps my knee with his little rubber hammer and my foot jumps.

Faith can't prove a damned thing. Or a blessed thing either.

Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words
Author: Frederick Buechner - Copyright © Frederick Buechner Center

Science and Faith - Contradictions

by Mother M. Angelica

We live in an age - of technology and science that demands proof - and yet, we desire mystery. But when God gives us mystery, we seek to destroy it by gross indifference or childish reasoning.

We take pride in our advances in technology and in the fact that we found the invisible power called "atomic energy" - energy that can heal, destroy, renew and rebuild. Yet, we deny Angelic Spirits who are also invisible powers who can destroy, heal and renew.

We take pride in geniuses sprinkled here and there and yet deny multitudes of intelligences that stagger the human mind.

We acknowledge evil in the world and man's inability to cope with it and yet, we deny evil spirits who harass man in an effort to destroy him.

We realize God is infinite and limitless and yet, we limit His creative powers to the visible world and its inhabitants. We take pride in the fact that we face reality and tell it like it is, and then we spend thousands of dollars on tranquilizers in an effort to forget reality.

We find anything that concerns the other world below the level of our intelligence and yet - we watch programs and read books dealing with E.S.P. and occultism.

We watch with great interest as science delves into mental telepathy and mind reading and yet, we consider a mental conversation with God or our Angel as wild imaginings and day dreams.

We are full of contradictions and seem willing to accept anything as long as it is within the realm of our comprehension - and yet, our hearts and minds yearn for the invisible reality that pride puts beyond our reach - the reality that only faith and humility can grasp or comprehend.

How true is the saying that to those who believe no explanation is necessary and to those who do not, no explanation is possible.

Excerpted From: SONS OF LIGHT by Mother M. Angelica

Inoculated with Faith/Hope/Love

by Shawn McEvoy, Managing Editor,

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13).

On the Wednesday morning following the 2012 presidential election, I found myself musing peacefully about what's important in life. I was finding out, through realizing how little the outcome affected me, how little stock I'd had in the result personally. I was neither dancing in the streets nor cursing the fates. How was that? Apathy? Ignorance? Internal focus? Eternal security? Just a really easy morning sending the kids off to school?

Then it hit me. It was the theological virtues. I began to compose what became a Facebook status:

"...I do find Faith and Hope such interesting concepts. They're so powerful. They allow so many to get on with their lives. They inform our decisions and give us empathy for others. They point us towards purpose, toward wrongs to be righted and away from what would harm us. They seem to be in short supply sometimes, even among those who proclaim them while venting frustrations and fears they'd not utter to your face, but they shine brightest in tough times if you let them. And they're most famously tied to Love. They are still here this day, even if it doesn't sound like it, for they are the virtues that 'abide.'

"So I ask regardless of political persuasion: Do you have Faith to loan to the one today who has lost his, or placed it in something temporal and disappointing? Can you spare Hope for one who doesn't understand that Despair is the only place hope functions?

"These virtues are superior inoculations against whatever goes on around us, the very infusions that make possible a mission of bringing joy, mercy and laughter into the world every day, that elevate 'I can endure all things' above a mere platitude. They task one with a job that'll get you up in the morning, any morning. They bring to our eyes opportunity: chances for justice and charity, and the exercise of freedom. And, good news for me, Faith-Hope-Love is beautifying, for I can think of none who ever saw the application of these virtues - call it Grace - in action and said, 'Ugly.'"

It wasn't long before I was tasked with the charge I had just set before others. A forlorn friend messaged me.

"I honestly need prayer. I am sincerely requesting it. I do not feel love, I do not feel any desire to "get past it and heal and show love more now than ever." ...I am disheartened to the point of despair. ...I don't want to feel this way but I do. And it's been getting worse all day. Please pray for me. ...Considering your FB post earlier, I came to you with my request because I thought that at the least you'd understand."

After a moment of prayer I responded:

"I have already been praying for you ever since waking early and noting that you were 'heart sick.' It can start to feel like a lonely place but you are not alone. I won't try to talk you off the ledge politically because the timing's not right and there's no point in anyone else's opinion when what's killing you and eating at you so bad is how 'uninformed and wrong' all the opinions out there seem to you. I only hope you can get to the bottom of why it gets to you so bad.

"In microcosm, it reminds me of a HORRIBLE flight to Newark I shared with two of my co-workers back in April. I was convinced that nasty flight was going down. I even posted ugly things about it publicly. I was SO MAD that while I was holding on for dear life while the plane bounced (yes, bounced!) around the sky, none of the other passengers seemed to mind. At least not much. I wanted to scream, 'Come on, people! This isn't right! Why did they put us on this plane in these conditions, and why are you taking this jostling?'

"On the other hand, my friend [and editor] Alex really couldn't understand why I would fret at all. After all, what is the worst that can happen to the believer? Death has no victory, so it's not that. And fear? What is fear except that from which we've already been delivered (death, sin, destruction, loss)? And sovereignty - what does my angry fretting reveal about what I believe about the nature of God?

"Hey, I think it's quite possible, biblically speaking, and regardless of the results of this particular vote, that things will happen in this country that are 'undesirable.' But I also know that through them and despite them I will cherish every moment with my family, try not to hold too tightly to anything eaten by moth or rust, and look for opportunities to help, and to live out my faith, purpose, and morality individually.

"I have no doubt you will be out of this slump at some point. But it may take a while. I daresay you may even want to talk to a counselor about it (I say this as someone who's done it).

"In the meantime, the simplest (yes, I know that can mean 'most naive') thing is to consider experience a good teacher. Nothing yet political, economic or electorial has befallen you or this country that killed either of you. In your 40 years, you have amassed great blessings; do not forget them, or cling too tightly out of fear of losing small portions of them. If you could erase everything in your mind and wake up today to discover the life you have, would your sky be nearly so dark right now?

"Rejoice! Get out of town. Go for a drive in the country with the top down. Go ahead, tell God he'd better know what he's doing allowing for the kings and counselors of the earth which he has ordained. And then leave it alone for a while. Go the indirect route. Study/read/pray about something else. Help someone else, even by just sending a note or letter to someone you know.

"These are the things that help me when I'm down, when I start hating my own people.

"Speaking of which, I sent friend requests to both ______ and ______ today. I figure it's time I stopped damming what would flow from my own heart. So please let me encourage you not to start. Much love!"

Intersecting Faith and Life:

These words helped my friend, a little. This letter gave me a chance to be the hope to one person I'd challenged others to be. This day of lost faith for some became an opportunity for so many others to talk about theirs. And you know what? Today is no different. The same needs and chances are there. Apply the theological virtues with Grace in a specific way (a mere note, gift, hand-on-shoulder can suffice) before you go to bed.

Further Reading

Philippians 1:21-25
Philippians 4:13

Source: Crosswalk the Devotional

Malankara World Journals with the Theme: Faith
Malankara World Journals with the Theme: Faith

Volume 7 No 435 Sept. 6, 2017
Ettu Nomb Special - Theme: Faith

Volume 7 No 400 [CCCC] Mar 1, 2017
Quad Centum Souvenir Edition
Chapter 17: Faith

Volume 7 No 394 Jan 20 2017
Theme: Faith, Born Again

Volume 6 No 367 Sep 3 2016
Ettu Nomb Special Day 3: Faith

Volume 6 No 359 July 22 2016
Theme: Child-like Faith

Volume 4 No 247: November 21, 2014
Theme: Lessons from St. Mary - Faith

Volume 4 No 215: April 24, 2014
New Sunday - St. Thomas: Doubt and Faith

Volume 4 No 203: May 20, 2014
Theme: Great Lent - Week 4, Faith

Volume 4 No 200: March 5, 2014
Two Centum Mega Special Issue

Section VIII Faith/Sacraments

Volume 3 No 175: October 24 2013
Theme: Fear Intersects Faith

Volume 3 No 171: September 26 2013
Theme: Faith

Volume 3 No 127: Feb 28 2013
Focus: Great Lent - Week 4 - Faith

Volume 2 No 102: Oct 4 2012
Theme: Faith and Belief

Volume 2 No 100: Sep 26 2012
One Centum Issue - Special Souvenir Edition
Theme 3: Sacraments


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