Going Without Knowing: Pitching Our Tent in Faith
What does faith mean for us? Is faith a noun? Is faith a set of doctrines or an institution? Does it mean a blind leap into the darkness? Catholic tradition says that authentic faith never demands the sacrifice of our intellect, our reason. What, then, is faith?
Simply stated, faith is that moment of trust when we say yes to the invitation to enter a loving relationship with God, not a noun, but a person. God called Abraham into such a relationship.
“By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8
Living by faith means accepting God’s call to “go,” the divine summons, without knowing where it will lead.
“Going without knowing: Pitching our tent in faith” is the theme of the 2017-18 retreat.
Faith, at times may feel like a dance, a celebration. We’re at cruising speed and all is well. But there also are times when we hit a wall, a time of spiritual darkness and doubt. Such moments may be triggered by a major crisis, a death or divorce, a serious illness or traumatic experience.
In these winter moments, we can easily get stuck, afraid of working through those doubts and exploring new stages of faith. We may even become apathetic. We no longer want to heed God’s call “to go.”
How then do we nourish a faith that seems to be dying of thirst in the wilderness? How do we go without knowing? How do we live a focused and purposeful life of faith in season and out of season?
With Abraham and Sarah, we will explore and examine our own journey, the seasons and stages of our faith life. With Moses at the Burning Bush, we will share our personal stories of faith. With the Israelites, we will pitch our tents in the wilderness, learning how to travel light, letting go of our golden calf, the emotional and material baggage we cling to, yet hold us back. We will discover, or rediscover, what we need to do to nourish our faith.
“Go,” God says to us. Go and discover more deeply who God is and who we are. Go and enter into a more loving relationship with God. Like Abraham, we are summoned to go without knowing. Like the Israelites, we challenged to pitch our tents in faith. It is called radical trust.