Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday 25 September 2011: The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

The Obedience of Faith

        By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will
to God.  With his whole being man gives his assent to God the
revealer.  Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God,
the author of revelation, "the obedience of faith".

        To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in
faith is to submit freely to the word that has ben heard, because
its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.  Abraham is the
model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture.  The
Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

        Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for
our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.  "Since
'without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to the
fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever
attained justification, now will anyone obtain eternal life 'but he
who endures to the end.' "

        Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man.  We can
lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: "Wage
the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.  By rejecting
conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith."
To live, grow, and persevere in the faith until the end we must
nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase
our faith, it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope,
and rooted in the faith of the Church.

                                        -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
                                                paragraphs 143, 144, 161, 162

Prayer to Saint Michael

        Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our
protection from the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May
God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the
heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and
all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of
souls.  Amen.

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