Faith, A Choice and A Gift

Faith healers have always been part of the Philippines spiritual and social landscape. Some are mere charlatans. Others are real channels of God’s grace and healing. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people would travel long distances to be healed by these faith healers. Due to poverty or the limitations of the science of medicine, many people in our country put their fate into the hands of these faith healers. There are many who get healed. There are also many who don’t. But, in allĀ  cases, it is amazing to witness how deep the faith of these people is.

It has been documented time and again that people of faith who have a serious health situation usually have a better prognosis. Faith enables people to do what is difficult and sometimes even what is impossible. My two favorite basketball teams, the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Golden State Warriors, always banner their campaigns with “We Believe!”.

Faith is a choice. I have to choose and will myself to believe. Faith is also a gift. It is not everyone who has an unshakeable faith. In today’s world cynicism and unbelief are so common and widespread.

I consider myself a believer. But I am often beset by doubts. And sometimes I give in to cynicism, specially with people or events I have had previous bad experiences. I do not have a faith that can move mountains. And yet, there has never been anything I fervently prayed for that was not given to me. I struggle to keep my faith strong. And yet it is my faith that keeps me strong in my struggles.

“Lord, give me a faith that is moored in Your love and Your goodness so that touching You I may be healed, made whole and complete.”

When Jesus and the disciples had crossed over,
they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat.
When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him,
and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.
And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces,
and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Mark 6:53-56

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