Monday, May 23, 2011

Spirituality: ‘Believe’ used alone

In the Synoptic Gospels, Martin Buber notes, ‘believe’ frequently appears absolutely, that is, without an object. In the Jewish Scriptures, ‘faith’ is used in this way to describe persons who enjoy an intimate, trusting relationship with God, and in this sense have entered God’s realm. Once inside, they find that ‘all things otherwise impossible become and are possible here.’ With reference to the gospels, Buber has specifically in mind the father of the epileptic demoniac, who comes pleading to Jesus: ‘If you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.’ Jesus retorts, ‘If you are able! – All things can be done for the one who believes.’ To which the father replies memorably, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’

Adrian Lyons, S.J. from Imagine Believing