Friday, February 21, 2014

Extremes always a mistake

The importance of faith and works is the center of the first reading today. The Letter of James calls those who believe that faith alone can save them, κενός, literally empty, vacuous.

While for centuries the argument has been faith alone or faith and works, I am seeing another equally disturbing phenomenon. Today we seem to see people who think works alone is enough. There seems to be a common believe that if someone gives to the poor, loves their family and friends, works hard, etc., they are good to go. They don't need to go to Church or worship God in any real way.

Mediation where we "turn inward" isn't prayer, it's one more version of narcissism. In true prayer and mediation we turn outward, away from self and toward God.

Works without faith is mere philanthropy, not a bad thing, but will not lead to salvation.

What we must seek every single day is balance: time for work, time for family and friends, and time for God. Without this balance we will find that no matter how much we profess faith or how kind we are, we will be empty. Through sacraments and through personal prayer we take time to allow God to fill us.