Faith comes first. From early childhood I learned the habit of solving problems by thinking them through to their logical conclusion. Then fixing what could be fixed and adjusting to what was going to be inevitable. My parents, school and church worked to instill virtue in us children, and of all those virtues—including humility, charity, a work ethic, gratitude, and the rest—faith came first. It was and is the hidden, invisible gift that makes life meaningful; it teaches and connects us to the realities of the world. Through the lessons of life, we learn that faith is the truest certainty of our existence. It is especially joyful when it leads us to the promises of heaven.
Faith only grows as it is tested. When we have acquired the discipline to begin the task, to assume responsibility for our actions, to stop, listen and choose well, we grow serene and balanced. And then something happens. We are struck by a reality or suffering we could not anticipate, so intense that we feel we have lost our center, perhaps as if we never had a center to begin with. It is at this stage that we are made to feel a complete beginner. This is where faith, hidden and invisible, with a life of its own, is waiting to be discovered anew.
"My parents, school and church worked to instill virtue in us children, and of all those virtues—including humility, charity, a work ethic, gratitude, and the rest—faith came first."
The test of faith happens personally and communally. We approach another election and perhaps we wonder whether our vote matters. Our habits of trying to solve the world’s problems by thinking them through to their logical conclusions may lead us to believe that the election process is futile. Where does faith come into play? What Covid has done to the balance of our communities cannot be underestimated. We are in a time of strong political opinions which divide our families and nation. Parts of the world are embroiled in war. The world has always been changing, yet God is here and He is control. It is a time to turn to faith, pray and vote.
Before voting it is important to understand what candidates stand for and what initiatives or issues might be on the ballot. Why would I “put my faith” in something I haven’t even read, or understand? Prayer is also important. Pray for all our candidates, our state, for a renewal of respect for all life and gifts, for families and for each other; for dialogue against division; for safety in schools and streets; for the nurture of family and nature; for peace. We all have a part to play in God’s plan through these coming November elections. It is time to think again more deeply, pray, and step forward in faith. Each prayer and each vote counts. Faith comes first.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo
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