16 Mar SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT 2014
The Carmelite saints have a lot to say about faith. In a few chapters of his book, the Ascent of Mount Carmel (Book2: 1-4), St John of the Cross mentions faith about fifty times. You would think, wouldn’t you, that the mystics, those people of prayer who have reached the closest union with God that is possible this side of heaven, would hardly need faith nay more. But the opposite is true. The closer we come to God, the more faith must deepen because, as John teaches, only faith can expand sufficiently to encompass the whole truth of God.
Our mind and imagination form an idea of God, and each of us has our own image of the God to whom we pray. But as John rightly insists, our mind and imagination are limited – and God is unlimited. Nothing we can think, feel, imagine or experience about God is the full reality of God, and so there will come a point when our idea of God no longer satisfies us. Sometimes it can seem as if we are losing our faith, but in fact we are only losing an image of God we have outgrown and moving into a deeper and simpler faith as God draws us closer.
Our growing in faith will continue all our lives if we are faithful to prayer and ready to allow ourselves to be loved and led by God.