What is the difference between an active and passive faith?
A passive faith is rote: a mechanical repetition of something so that it is remembered, but often without real understanding of its meaning or significance.
A passive faith is when we only think about God in church on Sunday.
Some of us Catholics go to Mass and Communion on Sunday, but forget the absolute miracle we have received in the Eucharist as soon as we walk out of the church door.
And on Monday, other ‘more pressing’ things take over and Sunday is forgotten.
We may throw out a few prayers the rest of the week. We may read a little scripture, but literally, many of us sleep through being in tune with Jesus.
AN ACTIVE FAITH IS ONE YOU CAN’T SLEEP THROUGH.
Act and God will act, work and He will work.” —Joan of Arc
There have been thousands of books and movies about Joan of Arc and her faith. All of them stir questions. Why would God even want to save France? How could an eighteen year old lead an army, defeat a world power and crown a king in a matter of six months? How could she face the awful entourage of Bishop Cauchon– who was professor and a pompous academic as well as a Bishop– and still trust in God and her visions? Yet she did all this, and she did it for her God.
Yes, there were moments when she doubted, when Satan whispered in her ear as he does with us. “Look where you are. See? God doesn’t love you. You’re not that good. You will fail,” and on and on. At times, haven’t you heard the same whispering voice? I know I have.
Still, in the end, Joan of Arc kept her Trust in God.
And so can we. We can get to that place of total Trust.
First, we have to realize how much God loves each one of us individually–no matter who we are, or what we’ve done,God is madly in love with us. An active faith begins with that realization.
Secondly, if we know that God loves us, we are able to surrender our lives to Him. Then, we will act, and God will act. We will work, and God will work. We will see that God influences and directs human affairs in this world that He created. And because we have His divine life within us, we will participate with Him.
There will be no way to passively sleep through His love in our own lives.