Friday, January 13, 2006

A Penitent Blogger on "Superstition will not save you"

Penitens, A Penitent Blogger contrasts the difference between Faith and superstition:
Superstition operates only on the level of externals. True faith and true religion goes to and comes from the heart.

Superstition is focused on tangible outcomes. True faith and religion focuses on a relationship that is to extend through eternity: a personal relationship with God.

Superstition is a common human impulse, often associated with religion, but not exclusively (if I only wear black this week, my favorite sports team will win their next game).

Statistically, superstition will always eventually fail.

Only true faith and religion – by the grace of God in our Lord Jesus Christ – can save any of us in the long run, especially in the eternally long run.
How many of us still fall into this trap, perhaps in subtle ways? "If I pray this formal prayer every day at this time...""If I become a daily communicant...""If I constantly participate in Eucharistic adoration..."

These life-afirming, faith-raising forms of piety can strengthen our relationship with the Lord. Or they can become occasions of idolatry. It depends on our expectation. God loves us first and freely. He does not give us X,Y and Z simply because we show him our piety. He already showers us with the gift of his Holy Spirit and Grace. He's already given us his son and the Church. As Saint Paul writes, "My grace is sufficient for thee."

Let us put aside our childish ways and place our trust in the Lord. Yes, we face an abyss of doubt at times. Believe me, I know. We cry out in the darkness and seemingly hear only the echoe of our own voice. We watch our most cherished dreams shatter in our helpless hands, and we ask the Lord, "Why?"

Trust him anyways. He has never abandoned us. Never. Trust in him, and we will find our relationship blossoms. We have no need of superstition. We never did.