“Faith is a dialogue, but the voice of God is almost silent. It exerts a pressure that is infinitely delicate and never irresistible. God does not give orders He issues invitations.” This beautiful quote is taken from a lovely book by Paul Evdokimov, Ages of the Spiritual Life. This is a thought provoking statement, which really should be considered in these thoughts about faith. We have spoken about teaching faith to children and learning faith from our elderly. But, what is faith? The beginning phrase “faith is a dialogue” is at once a simple yet complex idea. With whom do we dialogue? What can we say? How does God answer our questions about faith? As Christ tells us in the book of the Apocalypse (Revelation) 3, 20:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if anyone hears my voice and opens
the door, I will come to him and eat with
him, and he with me.
Isn’t this quite an invitation? Christ is waiting for us. His response to our faith is assured. So like a child whose first steps are tentative, our first faith steps may be shaky. God is there waiting for us no matter how weak our faith. He has promised us that if we reach out, as did St. Peter, he will grab us by the hand. The invitation from Christ is offered more often than we realise. At each Divine Liturgy we are issued an invitation. The call to the Chalice allows us to reaffirm our Baptism. It is our adult response to eat with Christ and to partake of him. Our God stands in waiting. No matter how far we have wandered or how long it has been. The invitation is prepared and personal. Our faith is not an exercise by which we test God, but rather an opportunity to engage God in our life. Faith depends on our attitude. Do we realise that we have move away from God? Is there faith, however weak? More importantly, do we love God? Our invitation awaits us. The invitation reads:
With the fear of God, with Faith and Love