Radio Interview

                     



                    



                    



                  

Faith is not about understanding the ways of God. It is not about maneuvering God into a position of human subjugation, making a God who is a benign deity who exists to see life as we do. Faith, in fact, is not about understanding at all. It is about awe in the face of the God of all. And it is awe that inspires an alleluia to the human soul.

Faith is about reverencing precisely what we do not understand—the mystery of the Life Force that generates life for us all. It is about grounding ourselves in a universe so intelligent, so logical, so clearly loving that only a God in love with life could possibly account for it completely.

When we center our power outside ourselves, which is of the essence of faith, we have faith in something greater than our smallness. We take our very lack of control as a sign of God’s presence in the world. It is precisely because of our smallness that we can come to see and trust the greatness of God that surrounds us. It is only then that we can really come to see the face of God in the face of the other.

Faith in what we cannot control, do not see, cannot understand destroys the idol that is ourselves. It is only the deep-down belief that we are not the be-all and end-all of the universe that can save us from ourselves. It is the awareness of being part of something vast and intelligent and well-intentioned that gives purpose to life, that leads us to seek beyond the horizons of our smallness to the hope that tomorrow, warped as we may be today, we can all be better.

Faith in God is the only ground we have for faith in ourselves, in humanity, in life. Then we may care enough about others, about the purpose of God for all human life, to go beyond the kind of religion that turns God into a local deity and life into a zero-sum game in which winner takes all and losers abound.

—from Uncommon Gratitude by Joan Chittister (Liturgical Press)